Sexual grooming of children over the internet is most prevalent (99% of cases) amongst the 13–17 age group, particularly 13–14 year old children (48%). The majority of the victimization occurs with mobile phone support.
Because the grooming of children (although it was not known at the time under those terms) in the UK had been proscribed as early as the 1910 Convention on the White Slave trade the idea of localised grooming was coined around 1990.
A television documentary was broadcast in August 2003, in which reporters uncovered details of an 18-month police and social services investigation into allegations that young Asian Muslim men were targeting under-age girls for sex, drugs and prostitution in the West Yorkshire town of Keighley.
The Rotherham sex grooming case saw in November 2010 various convictions of child sexual abusers.
In 2012, various members of the Rochdale sex trafficking gang were convicted on various counts.
This crime has been proscribed in various ways since the International Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Women and Children, which was agreed in 1921 as a multilateral treaty of the League of Nations that addressed the problem of international trafficking of women and children for nefarious purposes.