SOUTH YORKSHIRE POLICE has corrected data relating to child sexual exploitation - showing more people have been charged with the offence than originally believed.

In January this year, the BBC submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the force, requesting data around child sexual exploitation offences since 2013.

The police said that due to a clerical error, incorrect figures were released.

Police originally told the BBC that 695 offences have been ‘flagged’ with the child sexual exploitation marker since it was introduced in January 2013, to the end of 2015.

Actually, the most up-to-date figures (from January 2013 to the end of January 2016) show there were 681 offences.

Police also told the BBC that 46 people were charged with child sexual exploitation-related offences during the same period.

However, accurate figures show that 177 people were actually charged with child sexual exploitation offences from January 2013 to the end of January 2016, and a further 22 people were summonsed to court.

A police spokesperson said: "The data was released in good faith under the FOI act and we have taken steps to release the accurate figures as soon as the error came to light.

"Tackling child sexual exploitation is a priority for South Yorkshire Police and we are committed to building on the progress we have made.

"We have dedicated multi-agency teams established in each district, which focus on child sexual exploitation to prevent offences, to protect vulnerable children, and to hold offenders to account."