Criminal Exploitation


Underpinning  a collective response to the issue of criminal exploitation is the need for agreed definitions that support a shared understanding of the issue of concern. These definitions allow our partnership to foster a common language and shared understanding of what we mean when we talk about 'criminal exploitation' in Kent and Medway.

View definition of criminal exploitation

View definition of Serious Organised Crime Groups (SOCGS), including  Gangs and County Lines

View definition of Young Street Group

Local strategies and guidance

Kent and Medway Gangs Strategy:

The Kent and Medway Gangs Strategy sets out our approach to building on the progress  following  the first strategy which was created in 2018, and how we tackle gang crime and ensure community safety. It outlines where we are now and where we want to be in the future in order to better lead, plan, commission and deliver services across our partnership.

View Kent and Medway Gangs Strategy 2022-2024 (DOCX, 1.3 MB)

Tackling Cuckooing Multi-Agency Guidance:

This guidance is to raise awareness of the issue of cuckooking and provide a framework for agencies to work to when dealing with cuckooing cases. It seeks to promote a consistent approach and to ensure there is an effective multi-agency response which supports victims alongside action to prevent, disrupt and reduce cuckooing in our areas.

It is primarily aimed at frontline staff who work with vulnerable adults. It can also be used as a source of information and advice to support individuals, families, carers and members of the public.

Visit the Kent and Medway Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) website to access the guidance.


There are a number of websites that can be used to help raise awareness and increase your understanding of criminal exploitation.

Visit Eyes Open- the campaign to stop criminal exploitation website

Visit NSPCC website

Visit Fearless website


The Children's Society Online Exploitation Awareness Toolkit

This online toolkit is to help school staff and other professionals develop their understanding of exploitation and how best to respond. The resources aim to be two-fold; to provide opportunity for children and young people to learn about exploitation and to be confident in spotting the signs and indicators of this, plus is designed with the intention to help exclusions for children and young people at risk as it is well recognised that school exclusions can increase the chances that a young person will be exploited.

The materials are free to use. Kent and Medway's local offer to aid signposting for further support is included with the 'support services' link in Part 2: Useful Resources.

Visit the Kent and Medway Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) website to access the guidance.

County Lines Videos:

To help increase awareness of County Lines, the Kent and Medway Violence Reduction Unit have produced a variety of short story videos. The videos look at the issue of County Lines  from different perspectives including those of young people, parents, the Police and a Defence Barrister.

View county lines - recruitment video

View county lines - business model video

View county lines - customer video

View county lines - spotting the signs video

View county lines - breaking the cycle video

View county lines - lived experience video

View county lines - Chris's story video

Kent and Medway Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) Guide to County Lines:

This guide provides everything you need to know to understand county lines, as well as guidance and where to find support.

Visit the Kent and Medway Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) website to access the guide.