04:28AM, Tuesday 23 April 2013
A child protection charity is calling for urgent action to protect young people from sexual exploitation in the Thames Valley.
The NSPCC said more attention should be paid to the reasons behind why children run away. Thames Valley Police revealed 369 youngsters repeatedly went missing from care last year.
The charity says when children frequently go missing it puts them at increased risk of harm, particularly from grooming gangs, who target vulnerable youngsters for sexual abuse.
The NSPCC wants a more focused effort to establish why individual young people go missing and improve ways of preventing it happening.
Tom Rahilly, head of the NSPCC’s Looked After Children programme, said the 'state needs to be a parent for these children' in care.
Visit www.nspcc.org.uk for more details.
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