Town hall chiefs are calling for new powers to help stop children being groomed for sex.
The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling for a new banning order to allow councils to intervene if there are suspicions about grooming.
The ‘disruption orders’ could be applied even if there is not enough evidence to bring a criminal prosecution case and would help councils take action before a child is harmed.
The orders would ban suspects from certain activities such as hanging around outside schools, and the victim would not need to testify.
‘At present sanctions to prevent the grooming of vulnerable children are too limited and we need to make it easier to intervene earlier before harm is done,’ said Cllr David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board.
‘By making it possible for councils to apply swiftly to the courts for an order to disrupt grooming we can help prevent the lives of children being ruined by sexual exploitation.
Birmingham City Council has previously used civil injunctions where child sexual exploitation was believed to be taking place but there was not sufficient evidence for a criminal prosecution.