The sexual exploitation of children is one of the most unpalatable aspects of modern life, and quite rightly is one of the issues which most horrifies people.

The issue of "grooming", as has passed into common usage, is also one around which there are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings.

It is widely perceived that most victims of grooming are teenage white girls, who are preyed upon by Asian gangs. A new report into child exploitation shows that the problem is more widespread, with many boys at risk, a high number of under 12s, and also children from Asian and other ethnic minority backgrounds.

While recent court cases have shown that there is indeed a problem of white teenage girls falling victim to gangs, we should not let that cloud the real issue - that children, whatever their background, are being abused by adults.

The report identifies almost 160 children who are deemed to be at risk of sexual exploitation, because of who they associate with or who they might come into contact with.

It is a positive step that these young people are being referred to a specialist hub to help them avoid the problem of falling under the influence of the abusers.

And it is also encouraging that those adults who are seen to be possibly prone to abuse are being identified and issued with warning notices to let them know that their activities, while not yet in the realm of the illegal, are certainly cause for concern.

This is positive, proactive policing that just might reduce the scourge of child exploitation in the district.