Child exploitation concerns raised as teenage girls seen meeting with older men in Peterborough park

Peterborough police have raised concerns about child exploitation in the city after groups of teenage girls were seen meeting older men in a Peterborough park.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 3:45 pm

A police spokeswomman said details of the incidents would not be released, other than to say they happened in Central Park.

The spokeswoman said: “Concerns were recently raised about young girls gathering at green spaces in the city and speaking to groups of older men.

“These concerns resulted in us tracing the girls and speaking to their parents/carers.

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Patrols have been increased at Central Park
Patrols have been increased at Central Park

“We talked through the situation, any worries and highlighted the signs of child exploitation. Patrols were also increased in the area.”

Officers are urging anyone who spots the signs of child exploitation to contact police straight away.

Signs that may indicate child exploitation can include;

- youngsters receiving unexpected gifts or money

- using their phone secretively

- having significantly older friends

- being picked up from school by strangers

- showing signs of self-harm

- regularly going missing from school and home.

Whilst each case can vary, there are three common types of child exploitation to be aware of;

Inappropriate relationships - usually involves one person having control over a younger person and forcing their behaviour.

Boyfriend model - offenders befriend and groom a young person into a relationship and then force them into having sex with them, friends or groups of people.

Organised sexual exploitation - young people are forced to have sex with multiple people, often at ‘sex parties’ and are used to recruit other children and young peoples.