Thousands of young people are sexually exploited, says Tim Loughton (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children), but local authorities are failing to measure problem.

“My strong sense is that this country is waking up to the fact young people are being sexually exploited not in the dozens or the hundreds, but very probably the thousands. For too long, child sexual exploitation has been a hidden issue.”

He said the government was “absolutely committed” to reducing the number of young people who fall victim to abuse, and was working closely with the sector to make progress with its action plan to tackle child sexual exploitation.