Counting lives: Responding to children who are criminally exploited

A new report from the Children’s Society addresses the criminal exploitation of children and acts as a “call to action” for professionals to recognise instances of child criminal exploitation and develop and promote co-ordinated safeguarding response. The key findings of the report are collected into three main areas:

  1. The grooming and exploitation of children;
  2. Children coming into contact with statutory agencies; and
  3. Responses to children who are criminally exploited.


After presenting the key findings the report also gives four key recommendations that can be implemented at central and local government level, and are designed to disrupt the criminal exploitation of children. The key recommendations are:

  1. The law should be clarified to ensure that all children who are groomed, coerced and
    controlled into committing crime are recognised as victims of exploitation;
  2. Statutory agencies should have access to appropriate resources to identify and
    support victims of child criminal exploitation;
  3. The introduction of new local safeguarding partnerships should be seen as an
    opportunity to ensure that multi-agency arrangements are structured in a way to
    identify and respond to child criminal exploitation;
  4. Data collection and recording around child criminal exploitation should be improved to
    ensure more accurate understanding of scale and prevalence and the effectiveness of


The report was compiled using a mixed methods approach including a literature review, freedom of information requests to a variety of law enforcement and government actors, and interviews with professionals and practitioners.

The full report can be viewed here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *