Part of Devon & Cornwall and Dorset police work will be focusing on the Adverse Child Experience (ACE) theory and how we, as a police service, can embed this to help create better outcomes for young people and the community.

What are Adverse Child Experiences?

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on health and well-being. Studies from the 90’s identified that there are ten Adverse Childhood Experiences which could lead to negative impact on individuals which are:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical neglect
  • Emotional neglect
  • Mother treated violently
  • Household substance abuse
  • Household mental illness
  • Parental separation or divorce
  • Incarcerated household member

Adverse Childhood Experiences have been linked to:

  • risky health behaviors,
  • chronic health conditions,
  • low life potential, and
  • early death.

As the number of ACEs increases, so does the risk for these outcomes.