The county council has backed a national campaign highlighting the importance of recognising the signs of child sexual exploitation.

As part of national child sexual exploitation awareness day Bucks County Council (BCC) is urging residents to make sure they can spot the signs of abuse “so we can all do our bit to keep children safe”.

The national campaign aims to encourage residents across the country to notice and speak out against abuse, and adopt a “zero tolerance” approach to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children.

Exploitation can happen when a child is either tricked or forced into doing something sexual in return for something – such as money, drugs, gifts or alcohol.

By the time a child realises something is wrong they may feel trapped and too frightened or ashamed to tell anyone about it.

The chair of Buckinghamshire’s Safeguarding Children’s board, Fran Gosling-Thomas, said: “Grooming and sexual exploitation can happen to any child or young person, both in real-life and online, and it is vital that we can recognise the warning signs.

“The safeguarding of children and young people in Bucks is everyone’s responsibility, so please stay alert to the signs of child sexual exploitation. We can all play a part in keeping our children safe.”

Cabinet member for children’s services at BCC, Warren Whyte, added: “If you see something that doesn't seem right, please don’t assume someone else will report it.

“Contact our Children’s social care team, or talk to someone about it. It could be nothing - but it may also save a child from becoming a victim of exploitation.”

To find out more about spotting the signs of spotting child sexual exploitation and who to report any concerns to visit

To find out more about National CSE Awareness Day visit