Takeaways, gyms and public open spaces have been named among “grooming hotspots” in part of an official document leaked online.
The list was compiled by Northumbria Police for internal purposes but part of it has been seen by the BBC.
It mentions specific businesses and locations in Newcastle.
The force said it was not a formal list of crime-related incidents but highlighted popular areas, to help identify potential safeguarding issues.
It said it would also be investigating how part of the document, showing 16 locations, came to be in the public domain.
Locations also include part of the city walls and a disused business premises.
Some sites were earmarked as “frequented by young people whilst reported as absent or missing”.
The list had the logo of the Newcastle Safeguarding Children Board (NSCB) at the top.