Operation Makesafe is a national project, looking to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation within the Hotel & Leisure industry. The initiative focuses on making sure that people working within these sectors are aware of the early warning signs of CSE and then can report concerns to the Police.

Child Sexual Exploitation

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator.

Our aim

The purpose of Operation Makesafe is to empower businesses and organisations to tackle exploitation through increased awareness and training by being able to identify potential victims of child sexual exploitation, and where necessary, alert police officers to intervene to safeguard any at risk children.

What does this involve?

Businesses such as hotels are being introduced to Operation Makesafe, focusing on recognition on the signs of sexual exploitation and education. Encouraging information sharing where they have been directed to call 101, quoting ‘Operation Makesafe’, should they suspect suspicious behaviour or activity on their premises.

These businesses are also being provided with resources such as campaign posters and a guidance booklet to raise awareness amongst their staff and customers.

Know what signs to look out for

  • Guests who appear secretive about their visit or guests who try to conceal who they are with
  • Guests refusing to leave credit card imprint and pay with cash
  • Guests requesting a room that is isolated
  • Numerous adults and/ or young people coming to the hotel who do not appear to have a reason for being there, or high levels of visitors to the guest room
  • Guests who move in and out of the premises regularly at unusual times - a person may have arranged for others to visit the room where a child is being sexually exploited
  • Guests arriving and asking for a specific room number without knowing the name of the person who the room was booked under
  • Guests who don’t want their room cleaned or visited
  • Guests who do not have any luggage or ID
  • Young people with boyfriends/girlfriends who seem to be much older
  • A pre-paid bar tab to a room where children stay
  • Use of porn channels in rooms with children
  • Underage visitors who appear intoxicated
  • Teenagers loitering in public areas/external areas of premises
  • Guests with a local address renting a room
  • Bookings made in a different name to those who check-in / person speaking a different language to the person booking
  • Guest rooms with a lot of condoms/condom wrappers, drugs/drug paraphernalia (e.g. syringes, wraps, pipes, bongs, broken light bulbs, spoons, plastic bags)
  • Items missing from rooms (bedding, bin contents)
  • Signs of alcohol, drug, or substance misuse
  • A hospitality suite with businesspersons and young girls/boys (adults may be there for an event, conference, or meeting)
  • Guests who appear to be under the age of 25 delivering alcohol to rooms
  • A young girl/boy who appears withdrawn or tries to hide their face or appears afraid, disorientated, or restricted from moving or communicating or acting under instruction
  • Young persons who appear overly made up
  • Individuals who appear to be monitoring public areas

If you’re concerned about someone’s welfare think they may be being exploitation, please report it online or call 101.

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via crimestoppers-uk.org.

In an emergency always call 999.

Advice and further information

There is support available for perpetrators or potential perpetrators.

Advice for potential offender.

More information and advice on CSE and child criminal exploitation.