Police in Norfolk are supporting the annual National Child Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day, which takes place today.
The initiative aims to highlight the issues surrounding CSE and encourage everyone, from members of the public to professionals, to speak out.
Temporary Detective Superintendent Andy Coller, Norfolk Police’s head of safeguarding, said: “Young people often fail to recognise that they are a victim or are in an exploitative relationship and it is therefore essential we all know how to spot the signs.
“Everyone has a role to play in raising awareness of CSE. The safeguarding of our children is everybody’s business.”
Police say potential warning signs can include staying out late or going missing overnight or longer periods, an older boyfriend or girlfriend or relationship with a controlling adult, physical injury without a plausible explanation or unusual internet usage.
Other signs can include being in vehicles driven by unknown people, unexplained money or property, a lack of educational engagement or the use of drugs and alcohol.
Police and crime commissioner Lorne Green added: “Child sexual exploitation is a vile and abhorrent crime, which robs children and young people of so much.
“Together we can make a difference and give young people the help and support they need to speak out while educating and informing everyone about the role they must to play.