Torbay Safeguarding Children Partnership

The Torbay Safeguarding Children Partnership is working hard to protect children across the Bay and surrounding areas from all forms of child exploitation.  We want children to know that any form of child exploitation is taken seriously.  

We want to work together with children, their families and any agencies that have a role to play in keeping children safe to identify child exploitation and to protect victims.  

We will target, tackle, and bring to justice those who exploit children.

What is Child Sexual Exploitation

"Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse. When a child or young person is exploited they're given things, like gifts, drugs, money, status and affection, in exchange for performing sexual activities. Children and young people are often tricked into believing they're in a loving and consensual relationship. This is called grooming. They may trust their abuser and not understand that they're being abused.

CSE can happen in person or online. An abuser will gain a child's trust or control them through violence or blackmail before moving onto sexually abusing them. This can happen in a short period of time.

When a child is sexually exploited online they might be persuaded or forced to:

  • send or post sexually explicit images of themselves
  • film or stream sexual activities
  • have sexual conversations.

Once an abuser has images, video or copies of conversations, they might use threats and blackmail to force a young person to take part in other sexual activity. They may also share the images and videos with others or circulate them online "(NSPCC).

For information on child sexual exploitation please visit the NSPCC website.

Torbay are proud to be working with the Barnardo's Exceed Service.  Children who have been identified as vulnerable to or have been sexually exploited can be referred to Barnardo's by the practitioners working with them.  

What is Child Criminal Exploitation

"Criminal exploitation is child abuse where children and young people are manipulated and coerced into committing crimes" (NSPCC).

Criminal exploitation maybe taken place even if you appear to be agreeing to it, this is because the power of control is with the person who is benefiting form the exploitation.  

For further information on child criminal exploitation please visit The Children's Society website and the NSPCC website.

What is County Lines

"County lines is a form of criminal exploitation. It is when criminals befriend children, either online of offline, and then manipulate them into drug dealing. The 'lines' refer to mobile phones that are used to control a young person who is delivering drugs, often to towns outside their home county" (The Children's Society)

"Just because county lines may not get the coverage of other societal issues, it doesn’t mean it’s a small problem. In fact, most police forces across the country have reported county lines activity in their area and they say the violence is getting worse. It’s not just a ‘big city’ problem’. County lines is far reaching, with many smaller towns being affected" (NSPCC)

For further information on county lines please visit The Children's Society website

What is Child Trafficking

"Child trafficking and modern slavery are child abuse. Many children and young people are trafficked into the UK from other countries like Vietnam, Albania and Romania. Children are also trafficked around the UK.

Trafficking is where children and young people tricked, forced or persuaded to leave their homes and are moved or transported and then exploited, forced to work or sold. Children are trafficked for:

  • sexual exploitation
  • benefit fraud
  • forced marriage
  • domestic slavery like cleaning, cooking and childcare
  • forced labour in factories or agriculture
  • committing crimes, like begging, theft, working on cannabis farms or moving drugs.

Trafficked children experience many types of abuse and neglect. Traffickers use physical, sexual and emotional abuse as a form of control. Children and young people are also likely to be physically and emotionally neglected and may be sexually exploited. "(NSPCC)

For further information on child trafficking please visit the NSPCC website.

Spotting the signs

There is lots of information available for children and young people to help them spot the signs of exploitation.  Please review the websites below for further information listed in alphabetical order.


Children's Society

National Working Group



If you are worried?

The Torbay Safeguarding Children Partnership understand there are many reason why children and their families are worried about reporting and talking about child exploitation.  This might be because of the following (this is not a full list):

  • it seems like something small to begin with,
  • your friends are all involved and you are worried about being a snitch,
  • you maybe making money for yourself or your family,
  • you are worried about being threatened or beaten up if you tell someone,
  • you might owe money or another type of debt to someone,
  • you feel that you "love" the person that is exploiting you,
  • you feel that you need drugs and or alcohol that is being supplied to you,
  • you are worried about needing to move away form your family or home,
  • it is someone in you family or home that is exploiting you or other children,
  • you have already told someone and nothing happened to keep you safe

We want children in Torbay to feel safe to talk to someone if they are worried about being exploited or worried for a friend or someone else they know.  There are many people you can talk to who should understand your worries and support you to tell us what is happening in a safe way. 

You can talk to the following people:

  • a teacher of support worker in school
  • a youth worker in a youth centre or the community
  • a sports coach
  • an adult in your Church or Faith group
  • any type of health professional including doctors, nurses, sexual health where you attend an appointment or drop in
  • any police officer that may be visiting your school or that you see in the community
  • social worker or any support worker from children's services

If you do not feel able to talk to someone face to face, you can also contact the following helplines:


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