Peter Davies, ACPO lead for child protection and CEO of CEOP said:
"These findings take our understanding of these crimes to a completely different level and tackle some of the misconceptions about victims and offenders alike. There are some uncomfortable messages about the prevalence of this horrendous form of child exploitation and the report gives professionals working with young people a better way of identifying those most at risk of abuse by groups and gangs.
"Two years ago these crimes were largely hidden. Since then much has happened at Government, policing and partner agency levels to improve responses to it. There is much more to do. Child sexual exploitation is now rightly centre stage as an issue and whether happening now or in the past, we will continue to work to ensure the needs of victims are met and those who exploit them are brought to justice."