Search Site

Leave page quickly

North Warwickshire pub workers learn to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation

Many people may have heard about child sexual exploitation (CSE) happening in other parts of the country but find it hard to believe it's happening in their own area. The truth is that CSE is happening in Warwickshire and we all need to know about it. Being aware of it is the first step towards putting a stop to it.

CSE is when anyone under the age of 18 is encouraged, coerced or forced into sexual acts in exchange for something. The reward might be presents, money, alcohol, or simply just the promise of love and affection.

Everyone has a duty to act if they suspect a child is being sexually exploited and people working in licensed premises in North Warwickshire have been trained to spot the signs.

Representatives from Warwickshire Police, Licensing Team and Barnardo's
Representatives from Warwickshire Police, Licensing Team and Barnardo's
 Warwickshire Police and Barnardo's hosted a free training event supported by Warwickshire County Council, on Thursday, 8 February, at The Belfry Hotel and Resort in Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield, to help people working in pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants notice when Something's Not Right and pass their concerns on to the police.

78 people attended the training event, learning that sexual exploitation can happen to any child, anywhere, to boys and girls, of any race, religion and sexuality.

Licensed Premises are often used as a place to exploit and abuse victims of CSE as they provide an ideal environment for grooming and sexual exploitation. As part of the grooming process adults may meet young people or take them to licensed premises to start or develop a relationship and build trust by making the child feel special and giving them 'treats' such as meals or alcohol, or by involving them in adult parties. A premise could be misused for this kind of activity by the people who are socialising or working there.

The training included guidance on recognising the signs of child sexual exploitation:

  • Young people in adult environments, such as pubs, bars and clubs in the company of older people.
  • A young person being bought or given alcohol or substances by older people.
  • A young person who appears under the control or instruction of others.
  • A young person that looks distressed, intimidated, frightened, dishevelled and/or disorientated.
  • A young person with an older person/older people who appears to be engaged in kissing, touching or sexual activity
  • Young people being taken to areas of licensed premises that are not supervised or security checked.
  • A frequent customer/guest who appears in the company of different young people.
  • Young people being taken to/collected from licensed premises and sharing/being in taxis with older people they do not appear to be related to.

Exploited children are trapped because they have been groomed by perpetrators and often believe the abuse is their own fault - they fear they will be blamed or punished if they tell anyone what is happening. They may be ashamed of what they are forced to do and are scared they will not be believed. They may also think the person who is doing this to them is their friend, boyfriend or girlfriend and so will not recognise that they are victims of grooming and sexual exploitation.

How you can help

Trust your instinct - if you're concerned, please report it.

Call police on 101 (if someone is in immediate danger call 999)


Issued: Tuesday 13 February 2018 HB Corporate Communications

Published 13/02/18