Barnardo’s fears the cost of living crisis will leave families unable to afford holiday activities, leaving children prey to sexual predators online and criminal gangs on the street

A record number of children are at risk of sexual and criminal exploitation this summer as the cost of living crisis leaves the majority of families unable to afford activities over the holidays.

The UK’s largest children’s charity, Barnardo’s, issued the warning after polling revealed six in 10 parents will struggle to afford clubs, take time off work or go on family outings over the six-week school break.