Thousands of children in England are being horrifically abused by gangs, the deputy children's commissioner has said, as she launches an inquiry. Current estimates say up to 10,000 children could be affected by the sexual abuse, but it is feared the true figure could be much higher. Sue Berelowitz said: "Right now thousands of children are being horrifically abused by gangs." She is mounting a two-year inquiry into the scale and scope of the problem. The exploitation involves children as young as 11 being targeted by groups of men or gangs. They are given gifts and attention, then sold or passed on to others once they are trapped. The issue reaches across all races and classes, said Ms Berelowitz.