Members of the public are being encouraged to report child exploitation as part of a police campaign.

Dorset Police supported National Child Exploitation Awareness Day which took place on Monday, March 18 and was aimed at highlighting the issues surrounding child exploitation. 

The campaign is encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance attitude towards adults developing inappropriate relationships with children or children exploiting and abusing their peers.

A Dorset Police spokesperson said: "Any child can be exploited and it can happen anywhere.

"Grooming and manipulation of children can happen online or offline. It can happen to both males and females.

"The child may be sexually abused (CSE - Child Sexual Exploitation), forced into labour (Modern Slavery), made to launder criminal money (CFE – Child Financial Exploitation) or coerced into transporting drugs (CCE - Child Criminal Exploitation).

"You can report Child Exploitation to Dorset Police at    

"If you wish to remain completely anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If someone is in immediate danger call 999.

"Alternatively you can contact the NSPCC for advice on 0808 800 5000."

Dorset Police has also issued the following advice in helping to spot the signs of child exploitation: 

  • Travelling alone, particularly in school hours, late at night or frequently?
  • Looking lost or in unfamiliar surroundings?
  • Anxious, frightened, angry or displaying other behaviours that make you worried about them?
  • In possession of more than one phone?
  • Carrying lots of cash?
  • Potentially under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
  • Being instructed or controlled by another individual?
  • Accompanied by individuals who are older than them?
  • Seen begging in a public space?

More information about child exploitation can be found online on the website for the charity NWG at and on The Children’s Society website