The use of vapes by criminals to attract, groom and exploit children across Wales is the focus of a new awareness campaign.

Crimestoppers and its youth service Fearless launched the campaign this week to encourage people to give information 100% anonymously to the charity about vaping-related exploitation. The aim is to protect vulnerable people and to tackle the criminal networks involved. 

Criminals are taking advantage by targeting children - whether it’s using vapes, food, money, drugs, alcohol or gifts - in exchange for distributing or selling vaping products illegally or for sexual favours. 

Criminals target young people and use their power over the child to ‘persuade’ them to become involved in illegal activities. It can affect any child, anytime and anywhere, regardless of their social or ethnic background. 

Typically, a child or young person does not recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation.

A 14-year-old girl was the victim of vape-related sexual grooming. The owner of a convenience store in Wales which sold a broad range of products including vapes, supplied this child with free vapes and occasionally alcohol in exchange for sexual favours for himself and his friends. The young person was also eventually offered drugs and money. This same shop regularly sold or gave children as young as eleven vapes. Young people were also accessing the flat above the store where transactions were completed after closing hours. School children regularly hung around the premises. Hayley Fry, Wales Regional Manager at the charity Crimestoppers, said: "As the Regional Manager of Crimestoppers Wales, I am deeply concerned about the alarming issue of exploitation linked to vaping in our communities. Our campaign is a call to action – your information about those involved may protect young people from harm and prevent more victims in the future. “If you know something and prefer to stay totally anonymous, please complete a safe and secure anonymous online form on our website or speak to our national Contact Centre by calling 0800 555 111 anytime. Young people can also give information via 100% anonymously without fear of any repercussions. Our charity has always kept its promise of anonymity to everyone who contacts us.”

Fearless gives young people an option of staying 100% anonymous when speaking up about crime. Information can be given via, by calling 0800 555 111 at any time or via Visit for more information on Fearless and the resources it has available for young people and their peers.