What is child criminal exploitation?
Child criminal exploitation is the manipulation, coercion and control of children and young people to commit crimes usually for the benefit of other abusive adult’s or peers.
There are many forms of child criminal exploitation. All are extremely harmful to a child and their families both in the immediate and long term. Children can be manipulated, coerced and controlled into many activities that could result in crimes being committed by the child/young person.
County lines is just one form of criminal exploitation. It is a police term developed to describe the selling, storing, moving of drugs. The line in county lines is the phone line that stores the numbers and contacts of which the deals are made.
It’s important to remember that county lines is not the only form of criminal exploitation.
Ivison Trust see’s children and young people being groomed and exploited for the purposes of carrying out many forms of crime. This includes but not limited to;
- Deception – young people are used to move counterfeit money/goods,
- Theft – young people are used to steal to order from shops,
- Street robberies and stealing of vehicles
- Holding and moving of guns and weapons,
- Being used to perpetrate violence against rivals, for money or to control members of their own group as punishments
If your child is affected, it is important to remember:
The harms experienced as a result of the psychological/physical experiences a child and young person is exposed to can be significant. As a parent understanding the behaviours you may be seeing in your home and relationship with your child can be distressing and challenging. It’s important to remember it’s not your fault, and it’s not your child’s fault. This is most often the result of the trauma they are experiencing due to harm outside of the family home.