Taking action on Child Sexual Exploitation.

Insight to support the development of a communications campaign.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary asked Social Change UK to conduct research with children and parents in Cambridgeshire to explore their understanding and awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in a bid to raise awareness and reduce harm.

What we did:
  • Research and Insight
  • Community Engagement
A group of school children in red jumpers running across the school's playground.
An animation of local statistics for Cambridgeshire from 2016/2017 on child sexual exploitation statistics, including 125 reported cases of CSE, victims ranging from age 10 to 17, 66% of cases of CSE involving an online element.

The mission.

Prevent child sexual exploitation.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary want to eradicate child sexual exploitation. They asked us to work with children and young people and talk to professionals and to understand first whether they understood what CSE is, and find out if they could spot the signs.

Our mission was to provide recommendations to the communications and marketing team so they could develop a campaign targeting vulnerable young people who are at risk and educate parents or guardians, so they are aware of the signs and can feel confident in reporting concerns to the police or partner agencies. 

A page spread from the Child Sexual Exploitation evaluation report.

The research.

Insight for action.

We conducted focus groups with children and telephone interviews with parents and professionals in areas with high levels of CSE. This research looked at the current level of understanding and whether people can spot the signs of exploitation. We worked with children and schools to explore children’s attitudes and decision making was tested when we presented participants with hypothetical scenarios of possible exploitation. Importantly, we also looked at the barriers parents and guardians experienced when they reported CSE. 

The impact.

Insights generated from this research supported the development of future campaigns to reach and communicate with parents and children on child sexual exploitation. 

“This research has shaped our next campaign on keeping children and young people safe - both online and offline.“

A page spread from the Child Sexual Exploitation evaluation report.
Page spreads from the Child Sexual Exploitation evaluation report.
125 Cases of CSE in 2016/17
90% Of victims are female
66% Had been contacted or groomed online
11 Actionable recommendations made to Cambridgeshire Police

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