‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’ is an expression many people know, but we have called this poster campaign “There’s no such thing as free chicken” to highlight the dangers of chicken-shop grooming.
You may have arrived at this page because you have seen the poster on the right and want to find out more. If you are a parent, carer or teacher, you may want to watch the excellent YouTube video below which explains the concept of chicken-shop grooming in the context of gangs – the same principles apply for sexual and criminal exploitation.
If you are a young person, you may want to watch this Barnado’s video too. Whereas the YouTube video below talks about criminal exploitation (tricking you into a gang), this one explains sexual exploitation (tricking you into sex).
The principles are the same though; it doesn’t need to be an expensive pair of trainers – if a cousin of a friend or a friend of a friend is buying you fast food or small gifts, they might just be nice… or they may expect you to return the ‘debt’ you don’t know you are building up. This can faster than you think, even if you think ‘it wouldn’t happen to me’.
If something has happened though, it’s not your fault. Talk to a teacher, a parent/carer, the police, Childline or The Mix. If someone is blackmailing you they will tell you there’s no way out, but there is.
Since posting this blog, there has been media coverage of the story such as this newspaper article which may be of interest. It references written evidence submitted to the Youth Select Committee by The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales which you can read here. You may want to watch the ITV video in the tweet below for more information too.