MORE than 150 Strathclyde Police officers have been trained to help the public spot the signs of child sex abuse.
The training includes advice on behavioural changes that may indicate a child is in danger and ways to help prevent abuse happening.
A total of 163 officers from the Strathclyde force are among more than 600 across Scotland who have been trained to give educational seminars to parents and community groups.
About one in six children in the UK is the victim of sexual abuse. However, about three out of every four abused do not tell anyone about it, which means most sex offenders are not known to police.
The training to spot signs of abuse is also being extended to faith groups, sports clubs, community theatre groups and parents' groups.
Charity leaders say advice has previously been targeted at children but that parents should be better educated to spot the warning signs.
William Manson, Scotland project manager of campaign group Stop it Now!, said: "This is about putting the onus back on parents.
"There is a lot of hysteria around this issue. It's not the registered sex offenders we need to worry about. Most abuse is committed by people whom children know in the home, not by strangers.
"So much of this goes unreported and that is why adults need to know the signs to look out for and what to do about it.
"We cannot leave the child to be the one to take action."
The Upstream Project has been devised in partnership with the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.
Assistant Chief Constable Graham Sinclair said: "We welcome the development of the Upstream Project and the opportunities it presents for officers working in the community to learn more about the threats to children and how they can share important information with the people who need to know it."
Stop it Now! UK and Ireland has a free phone confidential helpline (0808 1000900) for advice and support on abuse.
For more information see the website: www.parentsprotect.co.uk