More people have come forward with allegations of child grooming in Telford.
Lucy Allan, Conservative MP has said, “She has been inundated with reports since speaking about the issue in Parliament.”
She has received many emails saying, “This has happened to me”. “I have also spoken to a consultant psychiatrist who has had many patients who have experienced this issue and are dealing with the mental health consequences of this terrible crime. It is clear this has been going on for many years and a significant number of girls have been affected.”
Ms Allan has raised an Early Day Motion in Parliament for Telford and Wrekin Council to commission an independent inquiry. The Council has not objected to this but has stated that they believe it would be better for the Government to commission the report so its, “independence and scope could not be called into question.” Some of the cases also predate 1998 which is when the Council was formed.
The Home Office has said that Telford is included in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse as part of their investigation into child sexual exploitation.
Tom Harding, West Mercia’s Police Superintendent has confirmed that they were working with 46 young people who were victims of child sexual exploitation or considered at risk.
Operation Chalice which investigated child prostitution in Telford in 2012 arrested and jailed seven men. It was thought that the majority of the men had worked for or had connections with fast food restaurants. The Police have confirmed that more than 100 girls could have been targeted by the men between 2007 and 2009.
It emerged last week that members of Telford’s Children Abused through Exploitation Team were “overworked and under resourced “in 2016 and at this time they had raised concerns that they were unable to spend enough time on high risk cases.
Javed Khan Chief Executive of Barnardo’s said,
“The scale of the abuse in Telford is deeply shocking and those responsible must be held accountable for any failings uncovered. Our specialist services see every day the damage caused by these horrific crimes.”