Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Partnership

Child exploitation

What is child exploitation?

A child or young person can be groomed or coerced into an exploitative situation. This could be in the form of sexual exploitation or criminal exploitation.

Exploitative relationships are characterised by an imbalance of power. The use of controlling behaviours are used to keep the child or young person in a dependent position.

Child Exploitation Screening Tool

You should complete a Multi-Agency Child Exploitation Screening Tool if you are worried that a child may be involved in, or at increased risk of entering, an exploitative relationship or situation.

Please complete the form with the child or young person unless it is unsafe to do so.

Please read the Multi Agency Child Exploitation Guidance before completing your screening.

Weekly MACE

The weekly MACE meeting draws together information from different partner agencies to explore the options available for tackling child exploitation in the community. 

You should make a referral to MACE if:

  • the child has links to a known or suspected perpetrator of either sexual or criminal exploitation
  • there is a significant risk of exploitation to the child from an unknown perpetrator

Use the referral section at the end of the CE Screening Tool to inform MACE of your concerns.

Strategic MACE

The key purpose of the Strategic MACE is to provide an overview of child exploitation in Lincolnshire.

Partnership Information Report

If you have information about a person at risk, please complete a Partnership Information Report. This is known locally as Operation Insignia.

It is a multi-agency system of sharing information with Lincolnshire Police. It helps to support vulnerable children and adults. 

Your information will help form a picture around their situation. It will also allow police to take further action in investigating an issue.

This could include but is not limited to information that is indicating:

  • child exploitation (criminal and sexual)
  • human trafficking
  • modern slavery
  • county lines
  • cuckooing
  • knife crime

Please note: this form is for low-level information only, to enable Lincolnshire Police to build a picture on concerns. It is in no way a method to report crimes. The right methods are: ringing 101 or 999, or using the online crime reporting system.

Complete a Partnership Information Report

The report should be for matters at a lower level than you would notify the Police by ringing 999 or 101, but still important to share.

It is not to answer current safeguarding concerns or matters of urgency, and the form is not a means to ensure safeguarding actions. 

If it is about significant harm to a child or vulnerable adult, normal safeguarding procedures apply.

Once received Lincolnshire Police will grade the information based on reliability, accuracy and origin. 

Never assume someone else has passed on the information you have.

If you have any queries about completing the form, contact [email protected].


The LSCP provides an e-learning module: Safeguarding Children from Abuse by Sexual Exploitation. It is designed to improve awareness. 

The LSCP recommends all agencies make the e-learning module mandatory for staff. Especially those who come into contact with children and young people.

Access e-learning


The LSCP recommends the following principles when using child exploitation resources with children and young people:

  • make sure resources are appropriate to the child or young person’s emotional needs and experience
  • familiarise yourself with the young child or young person’s environment before using resources
  • avoid materials, particularly films, which use harrowing examples and depictions to shock young people
  • avoid resources that erase the actions of the offender/perpetrator or teach children that the decisions they made led to them being abused