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Trapped campaign

The authorities in Manchester have launched a campaign seeking to raise awareness of criminal gangs who are grooming and exploiting children, young people and vulnerable adults to commit crime. That includes two short films ‘County Lines’ and ’The Present’ that highlight the ways victims can be coerced to carry out crime: arson, violent offences, storing firearms, holding money, criminal damage or assault.

Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Mabs Hussain said “Criminal exploitation is an abhorrent crime that prays on children and vulnerable adults and we will continue to do everything in our power to support victims and bring those responsible to justice. Those subjected to this form of exploitation are victims, not criminals and I want to reassure anybody who feels trapped that there is a way out.

“This campaign will help people recognise when they or a loved one are being targeted for exploitation, giving advice on how to get help and report it. Effective action to tackle this issue relies on early reporting so I would urge anyone with any concerns to get in touch”

Manchester Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Bev Hughes, said: “Criminal exploitation is a vile form of modern slavery, where people are treated as commodities. Children and vulnerable adults are being exploited, threatened and trapped by organised crime groups to do their criminal work. It must be stopped. I am proud to be supporting this campaign and the ongoing positive work which is being carried out across Greater Manchester to protect those who find themselves ‘trapped’ and raise awareness of criminal exploitation.”

Signs that a young or vulnerable person could be ‘Trapped’ and need help are:

Young people going missing / travelling to areas where they have no obvious links or connections
Unexpected, repeated or prolonged absence from school
Money, clothes or accessories which they are unable to account for
Receiving an excessive amount of texts and phone calls
Relationships with controlling / older individuals or groups
Carrying weapons
Significant decline in school results / performance
Self-harm or significant changes in emotional wellbeing – appearing withdrawn.

What to do

Anyone with concerns about themselves or somebody else should ring police on 101 or via the LiveChat facility on the GMP website in a non-emergency situation. Report anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Young people can also report anonymously via the Fearless website (the Crimestoppers brand for young people)

Watch the Trapped film here:


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