SCHOOL pupils across Oxfordshire should be shown a hard-hitting TV drama about the horrors of child sexual exploitation, it has been claimed.

Marilyn Hawes, founder of Enough Abuse UK, said the BBC production of Three Girls was an accurate representation of what victims suffered at the hands of the Bullfinch sex gang in Oxford.

The drama tells a story of three children who were victims in the 2012 grooming and sex trafficking case in Rochdale.

But Ms Hawes said there were many parallels with Operation Bullfinch, the police investigation into the grooming gangs which led to seven men being jailed for 95 years for raping and abusing six girls in the city in 2013.

She said society was not doing enough to make children more aware of the dangers they face.

She added: "The only way of beating this is to show our children sharply.

"We think 'let's not upset the little darlings' through teaching them - but they will be pretty upset when they fall foul of this."

Enough Abuse UK educates parents, children and schools about spotting the signs of child abuse and Ms Hawes said the stories shown in the three-part series, shown earlier this month, was what she deals with 'every day'.

The charity founder said she signed a petition for the series to be used as a educational tool in secondary schools.

Sue Croft, principal of Oxford Spires Academy in Glanville Road, Cowley, said she had not seen the drama, but added: "If there is learning and lessons and if there is anything to be done in school to make sure it never happens again, then that should certainly be explored.

"It would seem like a sensible thing to do in the right environment with staff around."

In the wake of Operation Bullfinch a 20-strong team called the Kingfisher Unit was set up to help prevent child sexual exploitation in Oxfordshire.

The unit was not contacted during the production of the Three Girls, but said it was 'very powerful' and 'successfully portrayed child sexual exploitation'.

A spokesman added: "We hope its lasting impact will be in encouraging those who may have suffered from such exploitation anywhere in the UK to come forward and relate what has happened to them."

Since the programme aired, Sara Rowbotham, who collected evidence that helped convict nine abusers in Rochdale, has been praised by campaigners.

Ms Rowbotham, who was played by Maxine Peak in the BBC drama, was made redundant in 2014, two years after the men were jailed.

In similar circumstances, Dermot Norridge, a retired police officer who was working for Oxford City Council as a Nuisance Officer at the time, tried to blow the whistle on the sexual abuse in Oxford in 2007.

The former Oxford CID Inspector spent months trying to raise the alarm by alerting social services and the police.

A serious case review in 2015 revealed failings by the authorities in protecting Oxford’s children.

One of the girls Mr Norridge raised concerns about was the victim of 25 offences by the Bullfinch gang.

In 2007 and 2008 she was reported missing from care 148 times.

Mr Norridge was told to stop sending emails to the then-head of children's social care after a complaint by a senior manager.

He told the Oxford Mail that he hoped the Three Girls drama would encourage other victims to come forward.

He added: "I hope the programme has given to the public an idea that this is what actually does go on everyday and that you should contact the police and social services if you are suspicious."

In a statement at the time, Mr Couldrick said the concerns raised by Mr Norridge were 'not ignored, but different decisions were taken'.

Anthony Stansfeld, police commissioner for Thames Valley, said yesterday: "The drama was hard-hitting and illustrated how the situation was allowed to develop.

"I think there was many more girls who were victims than how many came out in the [Bullfinch] court case."

Mr Stansfeld called on NHS staff to 'play a better role' in spotting the signs of abuse.

If you are concerned that a child may be being sexually exploited, you should contact the Kingfisher Team on 01865 309196.