Telford and Wrekin Council has come under fire for failing to take action to protect up to 1000 children from sexual exploitation over the last 40 years.
In 1981, at least 2 men began targeting girls from a local childrens’ home. The girls were trafficked for sex around the UK.
The Mirror conducted an investigation leading to the revelation that social workers in Telford had knowledge of the abuse in the late 1990’s. In a 2013 report, Telford and Wrekin Council acknowledged that from the late 1990s professionals had concerns about the nature of some of the child sexual abuse cases presented to them”. However, “existing procedures” hampered action being taken. The local authority is said to also have failed to retain details of abusers from Asian communities for fear of being accused of racism.
In 1996, a resident of Telford provided police with information about a key abuser who was trafficking underage girls. Despite informing the police at the time, the police failed to adequately investigate the allegations until the following decade, when they launched Operation Chalice which centred on child prostitution in Telford.
At least 100 potential victims were identified between 2007 and 2009. Numerous girls as young as 11 years old were drugged, beaten and raped.
Between 2010 ad 2012, 200 potential abusers were identified. In 2010 the Police launched Operation Thesis due to the volume of information provided to them by one of the victims of abuse. However, no prosecutions were made. In 2013, seven men were convicted of a total of 49 offences including rape, sexual activity with a child, controlling child prostitution and trafficking girls. According to Home Office statistics, in 2015, 15.1 child sex crimes were reported per 100,000 people. The population of Telford is 155,000. Therefore, there may have been 225 victims during 2015. However, allegations have been raised that similar abuse in Telford is ongoing.
In 2016, Conservative MP to Telford, Lucy Allan, called for an independent inquiry to be conducted into child sexual exploitation in Telford. However, Telford and Wrekin Council wrote to Amber Rudd, Home Secretary, to advise that an inquiry is not necessary.
Local Authority and Police failure to address Child Sex Abuse in Telford is the latest and most long-standing Child Sex Abuse scandal to have come to light in recent years.
At present, Farleys Solicitors LLP is representing a victim of child sex abuse in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse in Nottinghamshire and in October 2017, the IICSA held an inquiry into child sex abuse in Rochdale to investigate the Council’s response to allegations of child sex abuse relating to the Cambridge House hostel and Knowl View residential School. The abusers were convicted of abusing girls aged 13 to 22 from 2005 to 2013 and Farleys acts for several victims of child sex abuse who were groomed by the Rochdale gangs in claims against the local authority. Like the Telford Abuse, Local Authority failings to address abuse by the Rochdale grooming gangs was uncovered by the media and a Child Protection Policy Officer for Rochdale Council in the 1990’s admitted to the Inquiry that her offices overlooked key evidence at the time.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of abuse, you can discuss a potential claim with one of our experienced solicitors in the strictest confidence. Please telephone us on 0330 134 6430 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.