Sexual Exploitation Of Children 'Undoubtedly' Taking Place In Stoke-on-Trent

27 Children In Stoke-on-Trent Were Targeted In 2013

09.10.2014

A report conducted by the University of Bedfordshire has revealed that it is “undoubtedly the case” that sexual exploitation of children is taking place in Stoke-on-Trent.

According to the report, 27 young people were targeted in the city during 2013 and a further 78 were at risk of sexual exploitation.

It comes as an independent review of child protection services praised the authority for developing "an effective multi-agency response" to the issue.

The report identified long waiting lists for access to support for those affected by sexual abuse and made a number of recommendations about how the services and support offered to victims of sexual exploitation can be improved.

Recommendations include recruiting a multi-agency child sexual exploitation co-ordinator to oversee the work of the local council, the police and other bodies in this area.

Gwen Hassall, deputy leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: "We are doing everything we physically can to get rid of it. I would be foolish to say this is not happening."

Expert Opinion
This report has once again placed the issue of child sexual exploitation in the spotlight and highlights the scale and extent of the problem in Stoke-on-Trent. It is absolutely crucial that, first and foremost, the victims of sexual abuse are able to access the counselling and support they need to come to terms with the psychological and physical trauma they have suffered.

“It is troubling to hear that the report highlighted delays in being able to access this help and support and it is vital the local authority takes steps to improve the services it provides, as well as increasing efforts to identify and tackle any potential abuse at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Luke Daniels, Partner