Spotting the signs

As a parent, it’s important that you know the signs to look out for should you be concerned that your child is a victim of criminal exploitation.

Unfortunately, given the complex and contrasting methods that criminals use when exploiting children, it can be difficult to know conclusively that your child is being exploited.  There are however signs that you can be aware of that may indicate that there is a problem such as your child:

  • Regularly going missing from home or school.
  • Being located out of the local area without good reason.
  • Getting into vehicles with unknown adults.
  • Regularly coming home late.
  • Having unaccounted for money or valuables such as phones, clothing or jewellery.
  • Coming home with unexplained injuries.
  • Carrying weapons or feeling the need for protection.
  • Becoming secretive or evasive about associates and whereabouts.
  • Having a noticeable change in presentation (emotionally and/or physically).
  • Becoming involved in crime.

The above list is not exhaustive and there may also be other signs that heighten your concerns as a parent.  It’s important to remember that there may be legitimate explanations for your child to be displaying the above signs which may not be the result of exploitation and so it’s important to have a conversation with your child to hear what they have to say too – more on that here.



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