An undercover police investigation has found that several hotels and a supermarket in Wiltshire failed to detect child sexual exploitation.

Plain-clothed neighbourhood officers worked with young police cadets to carry out the test of safeguarding procedures at several well-known hotels and supermarket stores across Chippenham, Calne and Corsham.

The officers attempted to book a room with an underage cadet at a number of hotels in the area, in order to check which ones would follow the correct safeguarding procedures and raise concerns about child sexual exploitation.

Several hotels failed the checks, and Wiltshire Police will now conduct follow-up visits with the hotel managers of those establishments.

The following day, officers from Corsham also joined young police cadets to carry out vape test purchases at convenience stores and supermarkets in Corsham.

All stores in Corsham and Colerne correctly followed underage procedures however, a Londis store in Box, near Colerne, failed to carry out checks for the second time this month.

Trading Standards and the Neighbourhood Policing Team will now look to take further action.

Insp Pete Foster said: “It’s crucial that we continue to test our local stores, hotels and pubs to ensure steps are being taken to protect our young people from harm.

“By using our volunteer police cadets, it enables us to test our local premises safely and highlights the businesses we need to work closely with in order to make improvements.”