Support is growing for a campaign aimed at protecting children from sexual exploitation.

Sutton Council has signed up to children’s charity Barnardo’s Cut Them Free campaign as part of an on-going commitment to protecting the borough’s most vulnerable residents.

Research by Barnardo’s reveals one in 10 of the children it has worked with in the last year were boys, one in six victims was trafficked and moved from city-to-city and there was a significant increase in the number of children exploited by other children.

The council said the borough had shown it could meet all the commitments identified by the charity as vital in ensuring local children are as safe as possible, including training professionals to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation and having a strategy and services in place to help victims.

Councillor Dave Callaghan, executive member for children, families and youth services at Sutton Council, said: "I’m proud that Sutton has signed up to this campaign to demonstrate its support and determination to make sure all children in the borough are kept safe.

The Local Safeguarding Children’s Board‘s annual conference in November focused on child exploitation and the links with trafficking, young runaways and other vulnerable children.

At a full council meeting in October a motion was passed agreeing a statement of principle against the use of newspapers carrying adverts for massage parlours.

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