Advice for businesses
Understanding and tackling exploitation is everyone’s business and we need to make sure our young people are safe in the community. If you run a business you may come across children who are being exploited or are in danger of going missing.
Abusers often make use of businesses when carrying out child sexual exploitation. For example, they:
- use places where people socialise and relax to befriend and groom victims
- buy their victims 'treats' such as food, alcohol, cigarettes or gifts
- help their victims gain access to over-18 establishments and parties
- go to places known to be regularly visited by young people such as shopping centres and entertainment complexes
- take advantage of young people drinking alcohol
- provide victims with free taxis
- use their place of work to 'groom' young people for example by giving them free or VIP access
- leave victims unsupervised in areas such as toilets, entertainment booths, beer gardens or play zones
- use technology to record and distribute images of children
- use places that provide private areas or overnight accommodation to take advantage of vulnerable victims.
If your business operates under a licence, your licence is at risk if you do not take action to protect children.
The law states that licence holders and supervisors have to make sure that children are protected from physical, psychological and moral harm at their premises.
Premises which permit under-18s need to have systems in place to safeguard children and young people.
You must prove that you have used 'due diligence' to manage the risk of exploitation in your venue.
What you can do
- learn what exploitation is and what the telltale signs are
- think how abusers could try and exploit your business or service for their abuse
- be vigilant
- report suspicions to the police call 101 or report online [external link]. If a child is in immediate danger call 999.
- contact the council's children’s initial advice team on 01325 406222.
Barnardo's [external link]
Fearless [external link]
Childline [external link]
NSPCC [external link]
Emergency duty service - provides an out-of-hours response to emergency situations involving child protection and care - call 01642 524552