Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire | WYPCC

New Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) Awareness Campaign Launches

1 March 2021

West Yorkshire Police and partners have launched a new campaign to educate parents about the signs of Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) and to encourage people to come forward.

CCE involves a number of types of crimes which can include drugs, County Lines, the carrying of weapons, money muling and serious acquisitive crime.

Stats from November 2020 showed there were a total a 436 victims of CCE recorded in West Yorkshire. Most of these victims were male and aged between 13 and 18 years old.

Parents are often the first to notice a change in their child’s behaviour, therefore it is important to provide them with the information that they need to help protect their child.

Signs to look out for that a young person could be involved in CCE:

  • A sudden change in attitude, they become secretive or disrespectful.
  • They start making lots of repeat journeys without any real explanation.
  • Evidence of travelling to places they wouldn’t normally go for example used bus or train tickets
  • They go missing and are found in areas away from home
  • They have more money and can afford expensive items such as phones/ designer clothes
  • Their appearance may change. They could be wearing new designer clothes or the opposite appear dirty and dishevelled
  • They could appear to have lots of new friends who are possibly older.
  • They become distant and there could be signs of harm of depression and they start missing school

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson OBE said:

“I only recently spoke at the launch of an online regional conference in Bradford about Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) and how we must work in close partnership to address it.

“I am therefore extremely supportive of this latest awareness campaign, as it will highlight better understanding of the ways in which CCE can manifest itself within our young people and communities, helping to identify its presence to take the necessary action.

“By drawing attention to the significance of this emerging threat and confronting it in a unified approach, we can best protect those we all love and care for.”

Director of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, Chief Superintendent Jackie Marsh said:

“The relationship between Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) and serious violence is well documented and transcends a number of other crimes.

“The funding we have put towards this campaign will not only help to raise awareness of the signs, but also underline our collective responsibilities in preventing it.

“Removing and reducing the associated risks of serious violence and exploitation among our young people is one of our key objectives at the VRU.

“By confronting the subject in this way is an important step in our collective efforts to protect those who are often the most vulnerable within our communities.”

Jasvinder Sanghera, CBE, the Leeds Safeguarding Children’s Partnership Independent Chair:

“The criminal exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, it robs a child of a childhood and is every parents’ nightmare. 

“Those that exploit live amongst us, it is time for us to see and hear them and to take a stand to turn the tables on those that exploit and protect those at risk and those being exploited.”

Detective Chief Inspector Fiona Gaffney from the Protective Services Crime Unit said:

“Child Criminal Exploitations tends to happen when individuals or gangs build up a friendship with a young person, but then exploit them forcing them into criminal activity including drugs/serious violence.

“Any young person can be exploited, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or background. The parent or child is never to blame.

“If you are worried that your child is being exploited we have specially trained officers who can help.

“There are Safer Schools Officers at your child’s school that can help if you have concerns.

“If you know that someone is committing CCE but you would rather remain anonymous, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”