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Child sexual exploitation – information for businesses

Evidence shows that child sexual exploitation (CSE) takes place in hotels, pubs, internet cafes and places licensed to sell alcohol, and that taxis are used to transport young people who are then exploited.

Child sexual exploitation is a criminal act and if it’s happening around you, you have a responsibility to report it.

Say something if you see something. Call 101 and quote ‘Operation Makesafe’.

What is child sexual exploitation?

Child sexual exploitation is when a young person under 18 is encouraged, trapped, forced or coerced into a sexual relationship or situation by an adult.

It often involves the young person being offered something in return for performing sexual acts, such as alcohol, cigarettes, gifts, money, drugs and affection.

It can affect boys and young men as well as girls and young women. It can happen to a young person of any background, race, ability, sexuality or age.  

Say something if you see something

Although child sexual exploitation isn’t always easy to spot there are signs to look out for which could indicate that it is taking place where you work.

Download the signs to look out for in:

The important thing is not to ignore suspicious behaviour and to report anything that doesn’t seem right. If you come across a situation that looks or feels suspicious, talk to your supervisor, call 101 and quote ‘Operation Makesafe’.


The Metropolitan Police Service is delivering training to licensed businesses in Westminster, to help staff identity and report suspected child sexual exploitation.

Download their training slides here to train your own staff on how to recognise CSE.      

Protecting children is everyone’s responsibility. Remember, your observations and phone call can make all the difference to a sexually exploited child.

Get support

If you are concerned about a child or young person or any issues relating to child sexual exploitation contact the council on or call 020 7641 4000. In an emergency call the police on 999.

For more information on CSE and safeguarding visit the Local Safeguarding Children Board website.

Last updated: 8 April 2016