POLICE in South Yorkshire are to launch a major campaign to warn people of the signs of child sexual exploitation.

The new campaign, which goes live in December, is part of a major crackdown on the issue since it emerged police and council chiefs in Rotherham knew of sexual grooming for years - but failed to take action.

Sexual exploitation operations are underway and South Yorkshire’s assistant chief constable Jo Byrne said the force is 'determined' to protect children.

"There can be few crimes that disgust, shock and appal us more than the exploitation of children for sexual purposes," she said.

"In the last year, not least because of the publicity surrounding the Jimmy Savile case, there has been a greater public awareness of the dangers faced by children in society from those who would seek to exploit them and an expectation that the authorities will take firm action.

"It's important that the police, local authorities, the Crown Prosecution Service and others from the statutory and voluntary sector work in tandem to share information, to target those intent on such crimes and to make society far more aware of the dangers.

"It's vital that our communities play their part as well, understanding the signs of exploitation and coming forward with information to stop such offences."

Around 1,700 frontline officers in South Yorkshire have been trained in how to identify the warning signs.

Similar training for Police Community Support Officers and Special Constables is planned.