Sexual Abuse In Spotlight In Middlesbrough

Sexual Exploitation In Middlesbrough Described As A ‘Growth Industry’


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463
Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Committee have met to discuss a recent report which indicated that a number of children, some as young as 11, have been the victims of sexual abuse in the town.

The report, which gathered evidence from Cleveland Police, Barnardo’s and the Middlesbrough Safeguarding Children Board, described the sexual exploitation of children in Middlesbrough as “extremely prevalent”.

It urged the local council to ensure that the prevention of child sexual exploitation, which is said was on the increase in Middlesbrough, is “one of the council’s top priorities”.

An assistant head teacher of one secondary in the town described the sexual exploitation of children in the Teesside town as a "growth industry" which can also leave some primary school children at risk.

Dilys Davy, the CEO at the Women's Support Network, which supports the victims of abuse, said: "There certainly is a problem in Middlesbrough, whether it's worse than any other area of the country I couldn't say. Our reports go up year on year."

Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon, speaking at a public meeting discussing the subject of sexual abuse in the town, said the issue had been on the council’s agenda for two years, long before the recent reports into the issue published in Middlesbrough and other towns and cities around the UK.

Expert Opinion
The scale and extent of the problems of child abuse and exploitation seen in Middlesbrough, and other parts of the UK recently, are both shocking and unacceptable. This latest report has once again brought the issue of child sexual exploitation into the spotlight.

"It is absolutely imperative, amid all of the shock and outrage caused by these findings, that victims who suffered as a result of these problems are able to access the vital counselling and support they need to come to terms with the physical and psychological trauma they have endured.

"The other key priority is to ensure local authorities are actively taking steps to improve efforts to identify and tackle and potential abuse at the earliest possible opportunity. The safety of vulnerable young people must always come first and it is crucial lessons are learnt from the recent revelations in Middlesbrough and the problem is tackled immediately."
Tracey Storey, Partner