What is Child Criminal Exploitation?
While there is still no legal definition of ‘Child Criminal Exploitation’ or CCE, it is increasingly being recognised as a major factor behind crime in communities across the UK, while also simultaneously victimising vulnerable young people and leaving them at risk of harm.
CCE often occurs without the victim being aware that they are being exploited and involves young people being encouraged, cajoled or threatened to carry out crime for the benefit of others. In return they are offered friendship or peer acceptance, but also cigarettes , drugs (especially cannabis), alcohol or even food and accommodation.
Children as young as 10 or 11 are being groomed to enter gangs and commit crime on behalf of older criminals. These young people are being exploited and, by being persuaded or lured into carrying out illegal activities, often with the promise of something they desire as a reward, they become incredibly vulnerable.
Victims of CCE are often fearful of getting into trouble themselves – for the very actions they have been exploited into carrying out – so it can also be difficult to get these young people to come forward and speak out about their situation.
People don't talk about it. Child sexual abuse in ethnic minority communities - Independent Inquiry 2020