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Woking man arrested as part of child criminal exploitation investigation

News   •   Feb 20, 2019 16:59 GMT

A man from Woking has been arrested in connection with an investigation into child criminal exploitation.

The 43-year-old was arrested yesterday (19 February), following a planned warrant at an address in Woking.

An investigation was launched after concerns were raised by a parent in relation to a teenage boy and his possible involvement in drug running.

Further enquiries were carried out and the warrant was executed.

Detective Constable Pete Osborn, who is investigating the case, said: “I’d like to thank the parent for doing the right thing in reporting suspicious activity to us.

“This information has resulted in positive action being taken and an arrest being made.

“Child criminal exploitation (CCE) is when a child has been taken advantage of and is coerced into criminal activity such as drug dealing.

“Often, the child doesn’t realise they are being exploited and the activity will appear consensual.

“The quicker we are made aware of the risk to the victim, the quicker we are able to identify and arrest suspects as the situation arises.

“Our investigation is ongoing but there will always be situations similar to this. Victims of exploitation are often hiding in plain sight. I urge everyone to be aware and spot the signs and, if you have suspicions, let us know on 101 (999 in an emergency).”

Signs of a child or young person being exploited can vary. Some examples are:

  • Going missing from home or care and not attending school
  • Unexplained physical injuries
  • Misuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Involvement in offending
  • Deterioration in physical appearance
  • Receiving gifts from unknown sources
  • Poor mental health or self-harming
  • If you have any concerns about a child being exploited for criminal purposes, please contact Surrey Police on 101 (999 in an emergency) or http://surrey.police.uk/TellUsMore.

    If you are being exploited but don’t want to speak to police, you can report information anonymously through Fearless.

    You can provide information about crime without giving any personal details. They will not make note of your gender or age and they cannot trace your email or IP address.

    They are available 24/7 and can be reached on: https://www.fearless.org/en/give-info