Criminal Exploitation

Find information about what Criminal Exploitation is, what Suffolk is doing to tackle it, and what to do if you want to report something.

In an emergency, or if you or someone else is in immediate danger, you should always call 999

What is Criminal Exploitation?

Criminal Exploitation is a lesser-known type of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking that involves recruitment, movement, harbouring or receiving of children, women or men through the use of force, coercion, abuse of vulnerability, deception or other means for the purpose of exploitation.

County Lines

Criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults is a geographically widespread form of harm that is a typical feature of county lines activity. You can find out what county lines is and the impact it has on children and vulnerable adults in this video.

National County Lines Coordination Centre video

Child Criminal Exploitation

Child criminal exploitation is the manipulation, coercion and control of children and young people to commit crimes usually for the benefit of other abusive adults or peers.
A child under the age of 18 cannot legally give consent to their exploitation even if the activity appears to them and others as consensual.
Child Criminal Exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.
You can learn more about the stages of child criminal exploitation through this short video.

The Children's Society video

What are we doing in Suffolk?

In Suffolk we have a system-wide work programme to tackle Criminal Exploitation. The work programme, which is supported by data and evidence, has eight priorities:

  • Leadership
  • Prevention and Education
  • Intervention and Exit
  • Innovation and Learning
  • Community Response
  • Enforcement
  • Safeguarding Adolescence
  • Transitional Safeguarding

What should I do if I want to report something?

  • Report non-urgent crimes, including making the police aware or any policing issues in your area, by using the online reporting form on the Suffolk Police website, or call 101.
  • Call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously 24 hours a day to pass on information about a crime. Information can also be given anonymously using the Crimestoppers Giving Information Form.
  • Complete a secure online form on the Fearless website to give information about crime anonymously.

To report concerns about a child or adult

If you are concerned about a child or an adult and unable to use the Portal detailed below, you can call Customer First on freephone 0808 800 4005.

If you don’t want to give us your name you don’t have to, the important thing is to let us know if you are worried about someone’s safety.

Safeguarding Referral

If you wish to make a safeguarding referral about a child or adult, you will need to use the relevant Suffolk County Council Portal below.
The first time you complete a form you will be asked to create a new portal account. It’s quick and easy to register for an account, and it means the information you send is secure:

For help using the portals, you can access user guides and videos guidance using the links below:

If you are a member of the public and you would like to raise your concern anonymously, you can do so by clicking on the links below:

If you would like to know more about what Suffolk is doing to tackle Criminal Exploitation, please email 

Useful links and information