There has been a worrying rise in sexually exploited children across the UK, Barnardo’s has warned. Over the past five years, the charity has seen a 169 per cent increase across the UK in the number of young victims and those at risk using its expert services.
Barnardo’s has opened 11 new services in the last 12 months. During 2014-15 the charity worked with 3,200 vulnerable children compared to 1,190 in 2010.
The figures have forced the charity to launch an urgent appeal for £500,000 in public donations. Barnardo’s has a rapidly expanding network of child sexual exploitation (CSE) services in the UK — now in 59 locations.
Additional expert workers are needed to cope with the surge of girls and boys, some aged as young as 10 years old, who are referred to the charity for support.