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Operation Makesafe

What is Operation Makesafe?

Operation Makesafe is a national initiative focused on making sure that people working in the business sectors are aware of the early warning signs of child exploitation and then can report concerns to the police.

Historically, Operation Makesafe was specific to child sexual exploitation (CSE) but now incorporates all forms of child exploitation, including sexual and criminal (CCE).

Local and national evidence shows that child exploitation can take place in hotels, pubs, takeaways and places licensed to sell alcohol. We are working to make sure people working in those environments can spot the warning signs and have the confidence to report their concerns to the police to safeguard any at risk children.

Child exploitation isn’t always easy to spot, but there are signs to look out for, so businesses are being provided with resources including a toolkit and campaign posters and training to raise awareness among their customers and staff. These resources are available at the bottom of this page.

Don’t ignore your gut feeling that something isn’t right. If you see something, say something.

Call 101 or 999 (in an emergency) and quote Operation Makesafe

Know the signs:


  • Young people with adults who don’t appear to be family members
  • Last minute or walk-in bookings
  • Guests who don’t have any luggage or ID
  • Bookings made in a different name to those checking in or a number of people visiting the same room

Licensed premises

  • Anyone buying alcoholic drinks which you suspect are for someone who is under 18
  • An adult (that doesn’t seem to be a parent) who appears to be exercising control over a young person
  • Older men or women who appear to be behaving in an intimate way with a young person
  • Young person has limited freedom of movement


  • Customers befriending young people, including buying them food and drinks, or frequently come in with different young people
  • Under 18s with large amounts of cash
  • Adults who appear to be monitoring public areas
  • Young people with significantly older boyfriends or girlfriends


  • A passenger who is too young to be travelling alone, in school uniform during school hours or travelling with someone who does not appear to be a friend or family member
  • A young person being taken to or picked up from a hotel or travelling a long distance
  • A young person who looks concerned or frightened while travelling with someone else
  • Adults putting a young person into a taxi where the young person may be under the influence of drugs/alcohol

If you have any suspicions at all you can contact police on 101 or if see a crime in progress or you are worried someone is in danger, call 999. You can also speak to Crimestoppers anonymously.

To find out more about Police activity in your area and have your say, sign up for updates at


Please see below downloadable posters that you can print and display: