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Reporting concerns about child sexual abuse and exploitation

Child sexual abuse and exploitation isn’t something you need to deal with alone. It involves serious crimes and as such should be reported immediately to the police or one of the organisations that are trained to help.

Contacting Police Scotland

If you feel someone is abusing, exploiting or likely to exploit a child or children, or you believe a child or young person is at risk of being a victim, call Police Scotland on 101. If you think they may be in immediate danger, dial 999 and speak to the police immediately.  

Officers from Police Scotland will contact you to find out what has happened and will work with you to ensure your child is safe.

Specialist Child Protection Officers that work jointly with Child Protection Social Work will listen and speak to your child to find out what has happened to them. 

All incidents of Child Abuse and Exploitation will be investigated by Police Scotland to identify abusers and make sure they face consequences for their actions.

The Police Scotland website has more information on what happens when you make a call, and how to get in touch by text or via contact Scotland-BSL. 
 

Making a report to CEOP

If you’re concerned that your child is being groomed or sexually abused online, you can make a report to the CEOP Safety Centre, which is a part of the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Day in, day out, the NCA work to protect and support children and young people who are at risk of online child sexual abuse.

Reports from parents and carers might include concerns such as:

  • Someone online is talking to my child about sex.
  • Someone is asking my child to communicate with them on a live-streaming platform. 
  • Someone online is asking to meet up with my child. 
  • Someone online is asking my child for intimate photos or videos.
  • I’m worried my child is being groomed online.

Please note: the CEOP Safety Centre is unable to respond to reports about online bullying, fake accounts or account hacking. 

How to make a report

Simply go to the CEOP Safety Centre then click on the yellow button. You’ll be asked a number of questions such as what happened, who did it happen to, what do you know about the suspected abuser, as well as your name and contact details.

Don’t worry if you don’t know all of the details about what happened, just fill in the form as fully as you can. Once you’ve made your report, it will be reviewed by a Child Protection Advisor.

What happens next?

A Child Protection Advisor will assess the risk to your child and will contact you to talk about what you have reported and work with you to make a plan. This may include sharing your report with other professionals in order to best support and protect your child.   

Find out more

You can find out more about when to report and what happens when you do at the CEOP Safety Centre website.

You can support your child to be safer online with games, activities and information from CEOP’s Education team at www.thinkuknow.co.uk.

Reporting child sexual abuse images

If you or your child stumble across child sexual abuse images online, it can be upsetting, but it’s important to report them as soon as possible on the Internet Watch Foundation website. Reporting is quick, easy and anonymous and it can lead to the rescue of a child from further abuse. 

Last updated: 7 Feb, 2022