CHILD sexual exploitation is something most of us only come across in the pages of national newspapers.

So to discover young children right here in Barrow are being targeted by manipulative paedophiles on social media will no doubt come as a shock to many.

Experienced headteacher Caroline Walker has witnessed firsthand the tactics and tricks employed by sex offenders to groom children in Barrow and it makes for shocking reading.

It is a sobering thought to consider that children as young as eight are being targeted online.

Mrs Walker has spoken out in a bid to warn parents of the need to be aware of who their children are speaking to and the potential for them to fall victim to these vile individuals.

Sadly it is a child’s unique characteristic of innocence which means youngsters are easily duped into falling for this form of exploitation.

As much as we might wish it was unnecessary as parents it is our job to teach our children of the dangers around us and it is a depressing indictment of today’s society that such lessons involve educating them about the risks posed by paedophiles.

The children who end up becoming victims could so easily be our own and we all need to play our part in protecting them from the very real danger posed by these people.