Child Sexual Exploitation
Child Sexual Exploitation, or CSE as it is known, is the sexual abuse of a child or young person aged under 18 by an adult who involves them in inappropriate sexual activities either with themselves or another person.
The activity often takes place in exchange for money, alcohol, drugs, food, accommodation or presents such as clothing or mobile phones, and victims can be targeted in person or online.
Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child's immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post images on the internet or using mobile phones without immediate payment or gain.
Violence, coercion and intimidation are common. Involvement in exploitative relationships is characterised by the child’s or young person’s limited availability of choice as a result of their social, economic and emotional vulnerability.
A common feature of CSE is that the child or young person does not recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation.
The West Midlands ROCU supports the regional See Me Hear Me campaign to raise awareness of CSE. Visit the website at www.seeme-hearme.org.uk to read real-life case studies and watch videos which help both adults and young people to be more alert to the risks.
Do you know who you're talking to?
Hundreds of thousands of people across the region use social media and messaging apps every single day – but do you always know who you’re talking to?
From the hugely popular Facebook and Twitter to private messaging apps such as Kik and ooVoo - there are now dozens of different apps you can use to keep in touch with friends and family.
But what would you do if you received a friend request or a message from someone you didn’t know?
Our officers want you to be aware of some of the dangers of speaking to strangers online.
It’s easy for someone to pretend to be someone else online and you could end up having conversations with people who aren’t who they say they are.
Some people use social media to make contact with children and young people with the intention of “grooming” them. They might attempt to gain your trust by using a fake profile picture and by pretending to be the same age as you or have similar interests.
Criminals who try to groom children and young people want you to believe their lies so that they can get information about you.
Once they gain this personal information and have got your trust and friendship, they often move conversations towards sexual experiences and interests, even asking you to send sexual photographs or videos of yourself.
Some might move towards wanting to meet up, others might try to blackmail you by threatening to share any images /pictures or videos you might have sent them already with your friends and family, if you don’t carry on doing what they ask you to do.
Online grooming can take place via chat rooms, instant messaging (IM), social networking sites and email and can involve you being asked to:
• Chat about sex online
• Do sexual things on webcam
• Share naked or sexual pictures of yourself
• Look at, or watch pictures or videos of others doing sexual things
• Look at online pornography
• Watch the person you are speaking with do sexual things, such as exposing themselves
• Meet up face to face with the person you have been speaking to online
The simple advice is NEVER engage with someone you don’t already know in the ‘real world’ online. For more advice, help or to make a report visit www.ceop.police.uk