'Huge' numbers of children abused

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper says Labour will make it compulsory for authorities to report sex abuse claims

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper says Labour will make it compulsory for authorities to report sex abuse claims

First published in National News © by

A child protection campaigner has warned that the sexual exploitation of youngsters is a much wider issue than had been acknowledged.

Hilary Willmer, chair of trustees at the charity Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (Pace), said a "huge amount" of youngsters were being abused.

She was speaking out following the report into events in Rotherham, which found that more than 1,400 youngsters were abused over 16 years from 1997.

Asked if similar numbers of children could have fallen prey to abusers in other towns, she said: "I wouldn't want to bandy figures around but it's certainly a huge amount that is going on."

Ms Willmer worked with families in Rotherham in the late 1990s and was a colleague of the author of a 2002 report into the unfolding scandal, which was never published.

The document, by a Home Office researcher, was "effectively suppressed", according to Professor Alexis Jay who wrote the report into events in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

Ms Willmer told Channel 4 News the report "actually was drawing attention to all the failings of the local council, social care, police and everyone, who were failing to deal with information that was passed to them".

She said: "We were able to identify houses where the young girls were taken as well as all sorts of other places, that there would be a big network operating in places like the shopping mall at Meadowhall.

"It was well known, car numbers and information was handed to them but she was told that it was all anecdotal and therefore not enough to do anything about it."

Prof Jay's report said the work resulted in a c hapter of a draft report on research into the situation in Rotherham which " contained severe criticisms of the agencies" including "alleged indifference towards, and ignorance of, child sexual exploitation on the part of senior managers".

She said: "Had this report been treated with the seriousness it merited at the time by both the police and the council, the children involved then and later would have been better protected and abusers brought to justice. These events have led to suspicions of collusion and cover up."

Ms Willmer said: "I think there was a denial because of the perception that these were errant teenagers who were just a nuisance.

"There were certainly instances of where parents have gone out and found the children and told the police where they are, not just in Rotherham but elsewhere, and it hasn't been followed up.

"Hopefully that is less common now than it was at the time. But certainly there was a perception, the received wisdom, was these girls had chosen this lifestyle, they are going out with these men and they have almost got what they asked for.

"That was really very widespread. It isn't like that now, it would be much more difficult to argue that."

MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee are poised to examine what happened to the 2002 report.

Committee chairman Keith Vaz told the Independent on Sunday: "We would be very keen to get from the Home Office a full and frank response to the research that was commissioned in 2002.

"This is an essential part of the jigsaw to determine why the council failed to act, and whether the Home Office could have done more to ensure that it did act."

He added: "We want to see every piece of information the Home Office holds on this, and I will be writing to the Home Secretary to see what files it holds no this horrific behaviour in Rotherham."

Comments (1)

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12:27pm Mon 1 Sep 14

welshmen says...

Way back at the beginning of July 2011 Shropshire BNP's long and ongoing campaign against the sexual exploitation of young white girls in Wellington by local Muslim gangs saw Party activists march on Malinsgate police station in an all-or-nothing attempt to get justice for 'our girls'.

With news 'breaking' this week in the mainstream press of at least 1,400 young girls being sexually exploited in Rotherham, the time has come for Shropshire BNP to ask the Members' of Parliament for OUR local area, Mark Pritchard and David Wright, for official statements as to why they did not speak out about similar events which were happening in and around Wellington at the time; why they did not act to warn their constituents; why they did not appear on national television expressing their anger and disgust at these events; why they did not make any public effort or comment in any way whatsoever regarding the sexual exploitation of young white girls in their local area.

Everybody knew what was going on in and around Wellington and Telford. The gossip was rife and the BNP went out and leafleted relentlessly on the issue, raising significant awareness and making sure, come this day, that no one with power could find the excuse and say they din not know what was happening.

Today, Shropshire BNP demands Mark Pritchard MP and David Wright MP make a statement as to why they did not speak out on the issue of the sexual grooming of young white girls by Muslim gangs in and around Wellington.

Many girls could have been rescued from mental and physical torture had local MPs Mark Pritchard and David Wright had the courage to speak out.

The BNP acted. The BNP spoke out. In time the police made arrests and some convictions were gained but it was too little, too late. The damage has been done.

Is the sexual exploitation of young white girls still going on? If so, can we ever trust MPs, Councillors or anyone else in power to make our neighbourhoods safe?

BNP activists risked arrest back in 2011 for speaking out, but we did it because it was the right thing to do.

The police filmed us as we gave out leaflets raising awareness of the grooming scandal as if we were the ones in the wrong. But we were in the right. We spoke out.

Mark Pritchard MP and David Wright MP - the people demand you explain yourselves. Furthermore, local Councillors should hang their heads in shame. We know you are cowards. You could have helped but you did nothing. Shame on you all.

This latest media story is just to get the left back onside for the next election, so Labour can continue to rule and wreck our Culture with more of the same foreigners invited to came to our Country and abuse our Kids along with the ones that already see our Girls as easy meat....
vote UKIP....get our Country back....
Way back at the beginning of July 2011 Shropshire BNP's long and ongoing campaign against the sexual exploitation of young white girls in Wellington by local Muslim gangs saw Party activists march on Malinsgate police station in an all-or-nothing attempt to get justice for 'our girls'. With news 'breaking' this week in the mainstream press of at least 1,400 young girls being sexually exploited in Rotherham, the time has come for Shropshire BNP to ask the Members' of Parliament for OUR local area, Mark Pritchard and David Wright, for official statements as to why they did not speak out about similar events which were happening in and around Wellington at the time; why they did not act to warn their constituents; why they did not appear on national television expressing their anger and disgust at these events; why they did not make any public effort or comment in any way whatsoever regarding the sexual exploitation of young white girls in their local area. Everybody knew what was going on in and around Wellington and Telford. The gossip was rife and the BNP went out and leafleted relentlessly on the issue, raising significant awareness and making sure, come this day, that no one with power could find the excuse and say they din not know what was happening. Today, Shropshire BNP demands Mark Pritchard MP and David Wright MP make a statement as to why they did not speak out on the issue of the sexual grooming of young white girls by Muslim gangs in and around Wellington. Many girls could have been rescued from mental and physical torture had local MPs Mark Pritchard and David Wright had the courage to speak out. The BNP acted. The BNP spoke out. In time the police made arrests and some convictions were gained but it was too little, too late. The damage has been done. Is the sexual exploitation of young white girls still going on? If so, can we ever trust MPs, Councillors or anyone else in power to make our neighbourhoods safe? BNP activists risked arrest back in 2011 for speaking out, but we did it because it was the right thing to do. The police filmed us as we gave out leaflets raising awareness of the grooming scandal as if we were the ones in the wrong. But we were in the right. We spoke out. Mark Pritchard MP and David Wright MP - the people demand you explain yourselves. Furthermore, local Councillors should hang their heads in shame. We know you are cowards. You could have helped but you did nothing. Shame on you all. This latest media story is just to get the left back onside for the next election, so Labour can continue to rule and wreck our Culture with more of the same foreigners invited to came to our Country and abuse our Kids along with the ones that already see our Girls as easy meat.... vote UKIP....get our Country back.... welshmen
  • Score: 2
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