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Child Sexual Exploitation

CSE image

What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of child abuse involving children and young people receiving something, such as accommodation, drugs, gifts or affection, as a result of them performing sexual activities, or having others perform sexual activities on them. It can occur without physical contact, when children are groomed to post sexual images of themselves on the internet.

CSE is a hidden issue taking place out of public view. Practitioners often do not identify it and young people themselves frequently do not recognise themselves as the abused. It can be difficult to get an accurate picture of the risk of sexual exploitation.

The link between children being sexually exploited and children going missing is very strong. Some 140,000 children go missing from home or care in the UK each year and it has been estimated that running away places around a quarter of these at risk of serious harm. Children and young people who run away may be ‘pushed away’ following abuse or other factors or ‘pulled away’ wanting to be near friends or because they are being exploited by adults.


Child sexual exploitation: definition and guidance updated Feb 2017

The Department for Education (DfE) has published a definition of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and a guide for practitioners and managers. Advice for practitioners working with children includes: a definition of CSE; potential indicators of CSE; how children are sexually exploited; and how sexual exploitation affects children. Guidance for managers and leaders includes: prevention, educating practitioners, educating children and young people, and educating parents and carers.

The DfE has published annexes to the guidance. Annex A covers adolescent development and includes: transitions; relationships; key risks and responses. Annex B is a guide to disruption orders and legislation setting out examples of disruption measures, civil powers and criminal offences which may be used by practitioners.

The government response to a consultation on revising the definition of child sexual exploitation has also been published.

Source: DfE  Date: 16 February 2017

Further information: Child sexual exploitation: definition and a guide for practitioners, local leaders and decision makers working to protect children from child sexual exploitation (PDF)

Child sexual exploitation: annexes to definition and a guide for practitioners, local leaders and decision makers working to protect children from child sexual exploitation (PDF)

Definition of child sexual exploitation: government consultation response (PDF)


Local Information on CSE

Please click here for: Pan Bedfordshire Pan Bedfordshire CSE Strategy 2015 to 2017 which explains the approach to helping children and young people at risk.

CSE Risk assessment toolkit helps to make a risk assessment and helps those working with children and young people who may be at risk to consider the necessary information to assess and take appropriate action. A guidance has been developed to help practitioners undertake this risk assessment - click here for the guidance.

CSE Disruption Toolkit has also been developed for use by local multi-agency partners.

Click here to view the Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation Procedure which should be read alongside the CSE Practice Guidance

CSE Awareness raising posters

Further local information and resources are also available on the Bedfordshire Against CSE website


CHELSEA’S CHOICEa powerful production highlighting the issue of child sexual exploitation

We have commissioned 2 weeks this year of 'Chelsea's Choice'  and 'Crashing' to deliver performances to Upper Schools across Bedford Borough. 'The performances inform young people about grooming and helps individuals to spot the signs of sexual exploitation.

Chelsea's Choice is an educational play which highlights the very serious and emotional issue of child sexual exploitation. The production shows how young people, boys and girls, are groomed by adults for the purposes of sexual exploitation using various methods, ensnaring young people and eventually taking complete control and dominating their whole lives. It tells the harrowing true story of a young girl ‘Chelsea’ from Northamptonshire who was groomed and held captive, in a flat, for the sexual gratification of her captors.


Crashing highlights how child sexual exploitation can affect boys and young men. It tells the story of Eddie. At 15 years old he lost his mother to cancer, lost his father to depression and found himself out on the street. Whilst sleeping in a shop doorway Eddie was approached by Michael. Michael was kind, good fun and owned a shop with an empty flat above it. He offered Eddie the chance to stay there until he got back on his feet, but unfortunately Michael had another agenda.


We are also holding two evening performances of each performance which is open to parents/carers, professionals working with young people and young people themselves. For more details on each performance and how to book a place click on either Chelsea's Choice or Crashing.

Alternatively if you have any questions or would like more information please contact us at www.bedford.gov.uk/lscb or telephone 01234 276512


Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Luton CSEG (Child Sexual Exploitation Group)

New guidance for the Child Sexual Exploitation Group (CSEG) which replaces the previous Child Sexual Exploitation Panel (CSEP). The role of the multi-agency CSEG is to ensure a co-ordinated multi-agency approach to concerns about child sexual exploitation and to maintain an overview of emerging child sexual exploitation issues in Bedfordshire.

This guidance will take practitioners through the process if they have a concern about a child or young person being a victim of CSE or if they have any information about a person being a perpetrator of CSE or concerns about locations being used for CSE.

This guidance found be found by clicking on this link here

In due course it will be uploaded on to the Pan Bedfordshire Interagency Child Protection Procedures http://bedfordscb.proceduresonline.com/index.htm


If you have any queries regarding the CSEG please contact your local CSE SPOCs or the Pan-Bedfordshire CSE Co-Ordinator:

Bedford Borough: Sarah Hobbs (sarah.hobbs@bedford.gov.uk )

Central Bedfordshire: Slavica Tobdzic (Slavica.tobdzic@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk)

Luton: Catherine Doyle (Catherine.doyle@luton.gov.uk )

Pan-Beds CSE Co-Ordinator: Lisa Robinson Lisa.robinson@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk


Child Sexual Abuse Through Exploitation local leaflet


CSE Information reporting

To assist the Police in building a picture of Drugs, Gangs, Crime, CSE, Missing, Modern Day Slavery and Other vulnerabilities looks like in Bedford Borough, where it is happening and who is involved then they require your intelligence. So for example if you have observed a car regularly being at a location where young people congregate share the details of the car and a description of the occupants. If a young person changes their appearance and appears to have money a new phone etc. and talks about going out to parties, then share this information with the Police using the Intelligence reporting form below.

CSE Multi-agency submission form

Pan Beds Intelligence Sharing form guidelines


When considering whether a child or young person is at risk please consider whether any of the issues in the attached briefing places them at risk of or there is evidence to suggest they are being;

· sexual exploited

· trafficked for sex, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or forced marriage for example

· forced to work

· used as couriers of drugs and cash

Take a look at a practitioner briefing on Sexual Exploitation, Modern Day Slavery, Trafficking of Human Beings and County Lines by clicking on this link


Raising Awareness


Bedfordshire Police, the University of Bedfordshire, Bedford Borough, Luton Borough and Central Bedfordshire Councils, Crimestoppers, and the three local safeguarding children boards are joining forces to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE) with this new campaign.

As part of the campaign, a new website has been launched which contains links and information about all of the agencies taking part, and explains how you can access help and support, as well as where to report CSE concerns.

Jenny Myers, Independent Chair of the Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board, said: “Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) can be tricky for people to recognise which is why a tip-off from someone who may have noted something which doesn’t seem quite right, can be so incredibly valuable. The joint website is a great resource for those seeking more information on CSE.”

If you are concerned about CSE, you can call police on 101 or visit https://bedfordshireagainstcse.org/  for further information.

Child sexual exploitation is when people use the power they have over young people to sexually abuse them. In this video series experts explain who is most vulnerable, typical behaviour patterns of the abusers and how to spot the signs. You’ll also get advice on what you can do if someone you know is at risk or has been a victim of CSE.

Watch the video series about CSE


NWG report

Response to CSE in Bedfordshire in the Three Boroughs. Click here to see the full report.

Click here to see the Final Pan Bedfordshire NWG Health Check


Local Raising awareness posters available be clicking here


CEOP logo

Exploited Trailer.  A promotional trailer for CEOP's new educational resource aimed at preventing CSE

Exploited Full Version. A CEOP educational resource.

Exposed. A short CEOP film about a girl who sends images of herself on her mobile phone

Barnardos logo

The Sexual exploitation of Children: can you recognise the signs?  A 20 minute film to raise awareness about grooming and sexual exploitation using the Eastenders story of Whitney.Innocence. Short film from Barnardo's about a girl that is groomed by an older man.

nwg logo

NWG posters - Girl poster - Boy poster

University of Bedfordshire Logo

Short Films for Practice - CSE Research

These 12 films are aimed at anyone who wants to access learning from the latest research on child sexual exploitation (CSE), in a short accessible form.

The films share the findings of a range of studies undertaken by researchers in ‘The International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking’ at the University of Bedfordshire, as well as drawing on wider CSE literature.

Most of the films are under two minutes long. They can be watched in the office, shared with colleagues or friends, or used in training contexts.

Each film is accompanied by a short briefing document that outlines the evidence in more detail, with references and links to the original research, and questions for reflection. Click on this link to go to the UOB website


Further Information

Other CSE Resources



Barnardo's The Tangled Web, How Child Sexual Exploitation is Becoming More Complex 

Office of the Children's Commissioner Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups 

Out of Sight, Out of Mind CEOP Thematic Analysis - Executive Summary

NPSCC Child Trafficking - Key statistics and Guidance


New gold member to the National Working Group (NWG) nwg logo

We are pleased to inform you that we have now activated our Gold account with the National Working Group (http://www.nwgnetwork.org/) who are a Charitable organisation, who disseminate information to professionals working on the issue of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and trafficking within the UK.

This means as a BBSCB member you and your staff (through an application process) will have access to the many resources available.

So to access the resources please contact Cheryl Stevens, NWG Network Coordinator email: network@nwgnetwork.org and mention that you are working in Bedford.

Staff at all Local Authority Bedford Borough schools can be added to the account and have full access to Cody’s Choices and Deans Choices and the other 800+ resources.

Having clarified with NWG all Academies, Free and Private Schools will need to join NWG in their own right. 


National Resource

The NWG Network and The Children’s Society have developed a campaign pack supporting local safeguarding children boards to work with retail, transport, leisure and hospitality businesses to protect children in their communities from child sexual exploitation.

Click here for this campaign packack includes posters, leaflets and training materials for staff. It will help employees to look out for signs of exploitation, grooming and trafficking and provide information on what to do if they are concerned about a child. It will also assist employers to carry out risks assessments and vetting of staff.


Resource Pack for Councils- Local Government Association


National Reports

 Children's commissioner logo

A report from the Office of the Children's Commissioner's Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in gangs and groups.  For the report click here.


NSPCC logo NSPCC Sexual Exploitation tools on YouTube

The NSPCC has produced three short animations, available on YouTube, which each deal with the subject of sexual exploitation in a different way. The animations attempt to clarify the complex issues involved and offer starting points for discussion with young people who might be experiencing similar problems. The animations can be found here: 'My story is real','When someone cares', 'Jay'

Sexual Abuse of children and young people through exploitation.


Protect and Respect is for all young people aged 11 to 19 who have been, or are at risk of being, sexually exploited. Click here for the Protect and Respect NSPCC page


Serious Case Reviews around Child Sexual Exploitation

Operation Brooke Serious Case Review - March 2016


Derby - to see the Executive summary of this case please click here.

Rochdale - For the document click here

Rotherham Inquiry - click here to see the document

Oxford – click here to see full document


CSE Training:

For access to Training courses click here to access the LSCB course catalogue as it is updated daily and can be downloaded as a PDF if needed.

University of Bedfordshire films and resources on Child Sexual Exploitation.

These 12 films are aimed at anyone who wants to access learning from the latest research on child sexual exploitation (CSE), in a short accessible form. Each film is accompanied by a short briefing document that outlines the evidence in more detail, with references and links to the original research, and questions for reflection A broad range of CSE themes are covered. Please click here: University of Bedfordshire films and resources

NHS Choices has provided a short video, click here: Short video by NHS Choices on CSE

For your information: Press Release from Barnados dated 10 September 2015

Barnados provide advice regarding teenage dating and healthy and safe relationships: Please click here

Webinars and Briefings:

Please see below webinars which have been produced by the University of Bedfordshire to further support CSE

· The role of the voluntary sector - Julie Harris

· What is CSE- Helen Beckett

· To CSE or not to CSE- Helen Beckett

· Models of policing - Debbie Allnock


May 2017 newsletter

Click here for our latest newsletter

Ofsted Inspection

The Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board (BBSCB) is judged to be 'Good' in a report published today by Ofsted. For more details of the report and a statement by Jenny Myers, Independent Chair of BBSCB can be found here