County police and crime commissioner Alan Hardwick yesterday called on “every reasonable person” to play a part in stamping out the evil of child sex abuse.
His words came as the nation paused to reflect on Child Sexual Exploitation Day and the stark reality that it takes seven years for children to reveal they are victims of sex crimes.
Research shows children keep quiet because they have no one to trust, no one who listens or no one who asks.
Mr Hardwick said: “Sadly, not a day goes by without reports of child sexual exploitation. There is no doubt in my mind that it is one of the greatest evils of society.
“Every effort should be made to stamp it out and every reasonable person should play their part in doing just that.”
Supt Rick Hatton, head of Lincolnshire Police public protection unit, also says everyone should be ready to act if they spot signs of sexual exploitation.
He said: “The average seven years that it takes a victim to disclose the abuse could be seven years of torment for that victim, and seven years where the offender continues to abuse them and others.”
Official estimates say 16,500 children nationally are at risk of sexual exploitation.