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Advice for businesses

We all have a responsibility to protect children from child sexual exploitation, including local businesses.

Abusers often make use of businesses when carrying out child sexual exploitation. For example, they:

  • Use places where people socialise and relax to befriend and ‘groom' victims
  • Buy their victims ‘treats' such as food, alcohol, cigarettes or gifts
  • Help their victims gain access to over-18 establishments and parties
  • Frequent venues known to be regularly visited by young people, e.g. shopping centres and entertainment complexes
  • Take advantage of young people drinking alcohol (underage), whose judgement is impaired
  • Provide victims with free transport using taxis
  • Use their place of work to ‘groom' young people for example by giving them free or VIP access
  • Groom victims left unsupervised in areas such as toilets, entertainment booths, beer gardens or play zones
  • Use information technology to record and distribute images of children and young people
  • Use those venues that provide private areas or overnight accommodation to take advantage of vulnerable victims

What you can do

Licensed premises

If your business operates under a licence, your licence is at risk if you do not take action to protect children. The law states that premises licence holders and supervisors have to make sure that children are protected from physical, psychological and moral harm at their premises.

Premises allowing in under-18s also need to have systems in place to safeguard children and young people. You must prove that you have used ‘due diligence' to manage the risk of exploitation in your venue.

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What you can do

  • Carry out a children and young people risk assessment.
  • Train staff to recognise the signs of child sexual exploitation and make sure they know how to report it.
  • Where appropriate, use an age verification scheme and train staff to recognise which IDs are acceptable.
  • Be vigilant for over-18s buying alcohol for under-18s.
  • Monitor activity at your premises regularly using patrols and / or CCTV.
  • Report any suspicious activity to the police including descriptions and licence plate numbers. Keep an incident log of this activity.
Last updated: 25 January 2018 | Last reviewed: 25 January 2018