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New police figures show 165 suspects in Keighley and Bradford are being investigated for child sexual exploitation

This area still ignores the demands of the parents of victims to have an Inquiry. In 2006, 15 years after this area was the known epicentre for Muslim rape gangs, the police/council claimed there was no evidence this was going on.

From: http://www.keighleynews.co.uk/news/15320598.New_police_figures_show_165_suspects_in_Keighley_and_Bradford_are_being_investigated_for_child_sexual_exploitation

LATEST police figures show 179 crimes involving child sexual exploitation (CSE) are currently being investigated in Keighley and Bradford.

The statistics, released by West Yorkshire Police, show these crimes involve 165 suspects.

They compare with 220 child sexual exploitation crimes and 261 suspects under investigation in Keighley and Bradford exactly one year ago.

Michael Jameson, strategic director of Children’s Services at Bradford Council, said: “Child sexual exploitation is a horrendous crime and we work with police and other organisations to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice.

"This is particularly supported by our multi-agency CSE Hub, which has been operating since 2012.

"This is where representatives of West Yorkshire Police, Bradford Council, Barnardo’s and other organisations work together, investigating current and historical cases of CSE.

“Victims are now more confident about coming forward to report abuse and seek help. The CSE Hub’s specialist team provides them with a supportive environment.

“Anyone who suspects CSE has taken or is taking place can report it at any time by contacting the police. Bradford Safeguarding Children’s Board website has further details of how to report and where to access support.”

Responding to the figures, Keighley campaigner Angela Sinfield said: "Whatever number it is it's still too high." She warned that the statistics do not reflect the true extent of the problem because many victims are still not coming forward.

She said unless there is a major change in the law relating to consent for sexual acts and child sex abuse she and other campaigners will find themselves fighting the same battles in 10 years time.

"If someone is rendering a child unconscious with drugs and alcohol how can that child be giving consent?" she asked.

"It should not be down to that child having to make the complaint.

"At the moment, if the child refuses to give evidence then the case doesn't come to court.

"One of the biggest problems is that these children don't see themselves as victims. They'll say that these men are their 'boyfriends', even when these are much older, married men who definitely aren't 'boyfriends'".

Labour's parliamentary candidate for Keighley, John Grogan, said: "Even though these numbers are slightly down on last year they reveal the scale of the problem, but also the effectiveness of the response in Bradford and Keighley.

"This area has gained a national reputation for close working between the police, the council and schools.

"More than a decade ago Ann Cryer was one of the first to highlight this issue when she was Keighley's MP. If elected I would want to continue that by working with both the police and the council."

Keighley's Conservative parliamentary candidate Kris Hopkins, said: “These figures are a positive reminder of the progress being made by West Yorkshire Police, who I continue to work with on these matters.

"Thanks to their commitment to protecting the most vulnerable in our community, a significant number of sick and depraved individuals are now behind bars. I expect many others to follow.

“The well-publicised progress made has encouraged young people who have been subjected to vile sexual abuse to come forward. They deserve immense credit for their bravery in doing so.

“However, the figures graphically illustrate the cold reality that we still have a long way to go before this cancer is removed from Keighley and the wider district."

Contact Peter McLoughlin

Email pmclauth a t gmail . com


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