GM Child Trafficking Week of Action focusing on Criminal Exploitation
People that have been groomed to commit crime are being urged to come forward and report their concerns as part of a week of action to raise awareness of criminal exploitation.
The ‘Trapped’ campaign was launched in October last year to raise awareness of criminals who are grooming and exploiting children and vulnerable adults to commit crime on their behalf.
Greater Manchester Police has identified 25 victims of criminal exploitation since 1st January 2018. In addition, 67 pieces of information have been received relating to people being criminal exploited since the ‘Trapped’ campaign launched in October.
County Lines is a form of criminal exploitation and sees offenders moving children or vulnerable people for the purposes of selling drugs. They could be trafficked around the local area, or taken from urban areas to countryside or coastal areas to sell drugs.
Victims could also be criminally exploited and forced to carry out other crimes such as arson, violent offences, criminal damage, assault or robbery. They may also be forced to store firearms or money.
Offenders groom, threaten, force or trick victims into carrying out their crimes. If the victim doesn’t comply the offender may use violence, or threaten the victim’s family to ensure they get what they want. Gifts may be given to the victim as a reward to keep them on side which leads them to becoming trapped in a spiral of intimidation, fear and debt.
Throughout this week of action, GMP officers will be taking to the streets to talk to communities about criminal exploitation and how victims can get help. They will also be delivering presentations in schools, providing training to parents and carers and visiting children’s homes to raise awareness of the campaign.
Criminal expoitation is a developing and hideous example of how vulnerable adults and children are being targeted and exploited across the country. All agencies are asking anyone who is worried to share their concern – with the police, Crimestoppers or a trusted person.
If you are a parent or neighbour and see things happening that look wrong please Trust Your Instincts and share your worries. There is help available, so there is no reason why any child or adult should be forced into a life of crime. Getting to know more about the people behind this type of offending will make it easier for agencies to disrupt it and prevent others from being targeted.
Some signs that a young or vulnerable person could be ‘Trapped’ and need help are:
- young people going missing and travelling to seaside or market towns
- school absence or missing from school
- money, clothes or accessories which they are unable to account for
- receiving an excessive amount of texts and phone calls
- relationships with controlling or older individuals or groups
- carrying weapons
- significant decline in school results or performance
- self-harm or significant changes in emotional wellbeing.
What to do:
- to report a crime call Greater Manchester Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency
- alternatively call the Modern Slavery Helpline 08000 121 700 or visit www.modernslaveryhelpline.org
- to pass on information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information-anonymously
The criminal exploitation of children and adults (many of whom are vulnerable) is an issue in Greater Manchester and addressing this problem is a priority for Programme Challenger.
This criminal exploitation takes many forms, the most common relating to the supply and movement of drugs (often referred to as ‘County Lines’), offences in relation to guns and other weapons, money laundering, violent offences and in some cases ‘cuckooing’ where criminals forcibly take over control of a person’s home.
The criminal exploitation of children and adults (many of whom are vulnerable) is an issue in Greater Manchester and addressing this problem is a priority for Programme Challenger. This criminal exploitation takes many forms, the most common relating to the supply and movement of drugs (often referred to as ‘County Lines’), offences in relation to guns and other weapons, money laundering, violent offences and in some cases ‘cuckooing’ where criminals forcibly take over control of a person’s home.
In order to raise awareness of these issues with the public and professionals, Programme Challenger has developed the Trapped campaign which comprises a poster, target leaflets (downloads below) and a wallet card (which include augmented reality – see www.zappar.com for more information) and a short film made by a design company and actors based in north Manchester (www.youtube.com/). A web page containing more information about Trapped is in development and can be found at www.itsnotokay.co.uk/trapped
A key objective of the campaign is to encourage people to report their concerns to the police or to Crimestoppers, which they can do through the usual channels (999 in an emergency, 101 for non-emergencies or 0800 555111 anonymously).
In a non-emergency situation information can be sent directly to the Challenger team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources to download:
- Trapped A3 poster Sept 2017 – display in your workplace
- Trapped Card Sept 2017
- Trapped Social workers leaflet Sept 2017
- Trapped Foster Carer Leaflet Sept 2017
- Trapped Child and young person leaflet Sept 2017
- seven minute briefings