BARNSLEY Council is urging residents to spot the signs of child exploitation.

Bosses are encouraging people to recognise the telltale signs and to report it to the council.

A spokesperson said: “Gangs use girls or women to recruit younger girls.

“They gain their trust by pretending to be their friend and encouraging them to meet new friends.

“They groom them into thinking they are part of a new friendship group and when they have gained their trust, they take them to situations where they are exploited.

“We are asking everybody to help us spot the signs.

“If you suspect a young person you know is being groomed, please report it to us. We will listen and we can help.”