Professionals Briefing Vulnerability, Violence & Exploitation

Brighton & Hove Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) & the Safeguarding Adult Board (SAB) have produced two briefings for professionals to raise awareness of Vulnerability, Violence and Exploitation (VVE). There is a Short Briefing to give staff an introduction to these emerging areas or risk, and a longer Professionals Briefing with fuller details for those who work primarily with children, families and/or adults with care and support needs.  

Violence, Vulnerability and Exploitation (VVE) describes what happens when County Lines drug dealers, who are gangs involved in organised crime, use children and other vulnerable people through Criminal Exploitation, Sexual Exploitation and Cuckooing.  The children or vulnerable adults may be from the same area as the gang, or could be local, and may be exploited to carry out criminal acts to reduce the gang members risk of getting caught or as an end in itself. They are often moved around locally or nationally for this purpose, a form of Modern Slavery & Trafficking. The risks to them are significant, but they may not see this, or may feel trapped in the situation

This briefings explain some of these safeguarding issues in a little more detail, describes the risks, tells you what to look for and, critically, advises what to do if you think you see it happening.


People affected by county lines activity are at risk of criminal and or sexual exploitation, serious violence, as well as risk of significant harm through physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

Exploitation can:

  • Affect any child or young person under the age of 18 years
  • Affect any vulnerable adult over the age of 18 years
  • Still be exploitation even if the activity appears consensual
  • Involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and is often accompanied by violence or threats of violence
  • Be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or females, and young people or adults and is typified by some form of power imbalance in favour of those perpetrating the exploitation.



What should I do if I am concerned?

If you are worried that someone is at immediate risk of harm contact 999.

If you are worried about a child contact Front Door For Families on 01273 290400 or complete an online form via  

If you are worried about an adult contact Sussex Police on 101 or email

You can also report online at