The advances in technology have made it harder than ever to keep our children safe.
As mobile chat applications such as Snapchat and Twitter continue to flood the market, kids are more exposed to sexual predators than ever.
But, Detective Sergeant Ray Birnie, of Tayside’s Public Protection Unit, insisted that as technology improves, so does the ability to catch the groomers.
DS Birnie said: “The threat to children has become bigger because of the growth of technology.
“Children basically have access to computers wherever they are, because mobile phones have the same capabilities now.
“They are just one click away from being able to send explicit videos or pictures.”
But he warned groomers: “Everything you send and post online via text message will be stored somewhere.
“You can be traced through your computer IP address or SIM card.”
When there is a report of a child being sexually exploited, both uniformed officers on the street and staff working in the background can hunt the offender.
Det Sgt Birnie admitted it was a “balancing act”, but said it was essential to investigate internet contact because it is normally used by suspects in grooming cases.
He said: “Uniformed officers will be used in these cases, but we also have a dedicated internet unit in Police Scotland to help.
“However it has to be a balancing act. Uniformed officers will do their usual inquiries on foot, but technology is used as well.
“With a large number of grooming cases and domestic assaults, there will be a technological aspect to them whether it be threatening messages over Facebook or even text messages. The internet and other forms of technology can help us bring these individuals to justice.”
Det Sgt Birnie said the key to cutting down on the numbers of grooming victims was through communication between parents and their children.
He said: “You need to check on the online activities of your children and ask them about their online friends.
“Perhaps the greatest threat to your child online is for a parent to believe that there is no real threat.
“Having the family computer in the living room is no longer a safeguard against grooming or exploitation.”
While parents have a certain amount of control over their children at home, some worry that when they go to school, it is out of their control.
There have been cases in the past where an explicit picture taken by a child of themselves, which was meant to have been shared with just one person, has instead been leaked around other pupils.
The child in the photo can then become a victim of bullying.
Detective Chief Inspector Iain Wales, who is responsible for child and adult protection, said: “Teachers are trained to deal with these incidents. And if anything is shared on social networking sites, these images and videos can be removed within minutes of contacting the website.
“Any subsequent bullying that takes place can be dealt with by specially-trained staff, all it takes is for someone to ask for help.”