Telford Child Sexual Exploitation In Spotlight After Rotherham Report

Council Responds To Concerns Regarding Handling Of Previous Cases

02.09.2014

Telford & Wrekin Council have reacted strongly following the release of a report which suggested they took several years to act on concerns raised regarding child sexual exploitation in the area.

According to the Shropshire Star, a report by the Telford & Wrekin’s Safeguarding Children’s Board suggested that no action was taken despite concerns related to such abuse problems being raised in 2006.

Seven men were jailed last year following investigations into exploitation in the town as part of Operation Chalice, with four women giving evidence regarding abuse between 2007 and 2009.

However, Telford & Wrekin Council has now defended the action taken, with Laura Johnston, director of children and family services, stating that it was untrue to suggest action was not being taken before 2009.

She added: “Safeguarding and protecting our children and young people is a priority for us every day. With regards to Operation Chalice, we developed a multi-agency partnership which ultimately resulted in arrests and subsequent successful prosecutions.”

The concerns regarding such issues in Telford have been brought back into the spotlight following the release of revelations related to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham last week.

Expert Opinion
While a huge spotlight has rightly been placed on the shocking problems seen in Rotherham in recent years, it was always acknowledged by authorities that such child sexual exploitation issues would not be isolated.

"It is unsurprising that other areas are examining the issue closely and how it has affected communities, with the problems seen in Telford in recent years now being placed under scrutiny.

"The ultimate priority at this point has to be to use the information gathered on past cases to actively work to identify potential areas where this kind of issue may remain a concern, with the aim of preventing the activity and safeguarding those who are at risk.

"It is also imperative that all of those who have faced the physical and psychological trauma of abuse are able to access the support they need to begin to come to terms with what they have endured."
Tom Fletcher, Associate