DEVON and Cornwall Police say the most likely form of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the south west is perpetrated by other young people.
It’s sometimes referred to as “peer on peer” exploitation, and its victims are young males and young females.
“People may be unaware that CSE can be perpetrated by young people aged 18 or younger, and they themselves may also have been victims of CSE,” says Detective Chief Inspector Alison Lander, Devon Cornwall Police and Force lead for CSE.
Recent research led by Plymouth’s Safeguarding Children’s Board found little awareness and understanding among young people of peer on peer sexual exploitation.
Their research showed that this form of exploitation in particular was not widely recognised or understood as a crime, which is preventing children from reporting it.
They found that young people are also not reporting sexual exploitation