A new campaign called ‘Say Something’ has been launched to tackle child sexual exploitation.
National Working Group Network and Missing People are behind the initiative, which is being supported by Warwickshire Police.
The helpline is run by the charity Missing People, in association with the National Working Group Network, and is funded by the Department of Education and supported by police.
Callers will be offered advice and, where appropriate, necessary or requested, access to the police to ensure protection and safeguarding.
Detective Inspector Nigel Jones from Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police said: “We welcome the national campaign, which we hope will encourage more people to come forward and seek help and support.
“I would urge anyone who has questions or concerns about child sexual exploitation (CSE), to contact the new free 24-hour anonymous phone and text service provided by Missing People (116 000).
“Callers can remain anonymous which should encourage more children and teenagers to have the confidence to report possible signs of exploitation.
“We have undertaken a lot of work in West Mercia policing areas, together with our partners, to raise awareness of CSE among parents, children and the general public, so that more people will be able to recognise the possible signs of exploitation and seek help.
“CSE can be incredibly hard to recognise, as many warning signs can easily be mistaken for typical child or adolescent behaviour, it can take many forms for example it could be a young person not realising they are being expoloited in return for attention, gifts, alcohol or cigarettes.
“I would encourage any young person who is concerned to ‘say something’ as soon as possible.”
Anyone who is concerned about CSE should call police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.