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Child Sexual Exploitation

What is Child  Sexual Exploitation?

Liverpool  Safeguarding Children Partnership have adopted the definition of sexual exploitation that is set out in Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation, Supplementary Guidance to Working Together to Safeguard Children 2009.

 Child sexual exploitation is a very distressing form of sexual, emotional and physical abuse of children and young people.

A person under 18 is sexually exploited when they are encouraged into sexual activities by one or more  person(s) who have deliberately targeted their youth and inexperience in order to gain power over them.

It can be extremely difficult to recognise because many of the warning signs are symptomatic of challenges that all parents of adolescent or near-adolescent children face.


In recent years there have been a number of high profile incidents nationally of children and young people becoming victims of child sexual exploitation (CSE).  LSCBs have responsibility for reporting on and overseeing provision for all vulnerable children, including children and young people at risk of CSE. There is a duty to work in partnership across agencies and in Liverpool we have a systematic focus on these issues.

Prior to 2013, CSE was dealt with by individual Local Authorities however in 2013, the Pan Merseyside Strategy and Protocol was developed and since then the 5 LSCBs and Local Authorities have been working together alongside Merseyside Police to tackle this issue.


The Extent of the Problem Locally

We know in Liverpool is that a number of children and young people have been identified through multi-agency working and have been discussed at the monthly multi-agency CSE meetings (MACSE). The children and young people are identified as being subject to or at risk of child sexual exploitation. 

Nationally we know that the issue has not always been recognised and that the extent of the problem has been underestimated so it is likely that this is also true in Merseyside.


Information for parents and carers:

Parents and carers have a crucial role to play in identifying concerns at an early stage.

Child Sexual Exploitation

Please visit the Liverpool Safeguarding Children's Partnership site for more information

Helpful websites and links for Children and Young People






Who to contact


One of the biggest threats facing agencies  when tackling CSE is the large scale of cyber enabled abuse where victims have been groomed and abused through the use of social media applications (apps).  There are currently thousands of apps being used with developers creating new ones every day.  As a result the Police have developed an  App Guide created in an excel spread sheet called ‘CSE Social Media Library’ (attached) to record apps encountered within CSE, either through crimes, non-crimes, intelligence, referrals or through research. 

Please see the attached app guide on the right of this page for your information

If you become aware of an app that is not currently on the list and is causing concern, please notify us so that the guide can be updated via


Where to go

Cunard Building
Water Street
L3 1AH
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