New report calls for better handling of Child Criminal Exploitation

Date: 12th November 2021
Category: Children in situations of exploitation

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Barnardo’s has published a new report on the exploitation and criminalisation of children and young people, calling for The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to be strengthened.

Findings show that during the Covid-19 pandemic, organised criminal gangs moved their exploitation of children into busier public places where it was easier to conduct activity during lockdowns without arousing suspicion. There has also been an increase in children and young people being targeted by criminal gangs online.

Despite the improvement in the mutual understanding of child criminal exploitation (CCE), agencies are still seeing some exploited children as criminals and children are continuing to be punished for the abuse they are receiving. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, currently moving through Parliament, is a unique opportunity to ensure that all professionals who support children understand CCE and work to better prevent, identify and support children who experience this growing harm. Barnardo’s argues that, as it stands, the Bill does not go far enough.

Using new findings, this report outlines the growing problem of organised gangs exploiting and coercing children into criminality and how the Bill can be amended to make a real difference to children by creating a statutory definition of CCE and by placing a requirement on local areas to specifically tackle CCE and serious youth violence.

Click here to read the full Barnardo’s report.