500 Children Identified At Risk Of Sexual Exploitation In Birmingham And West Midlands In Six Months

Survivors Reported Being Scared To Come Forward Following Abuse, Irwin Mitchell, Luke Daniels

18.03.2015

The last six months has seen 500 children in Birmingham and West Midlands identified as being at risk of sexual exploitation, according to a report published by Stephen Rimmer, a former Home Office child sexual exploitation expert.

The report indicated that 488 children were at risk of exploitation in the region, more than double the original estimate of 210 identified in a review by police and council officials. 

Local authorities have claimed that the number is likely to be a “significant underestimate’’ of the true scale of the problem and the report revealed 70 child sexual exploitation investigations are currently running in the region.

The report also said: The common factor across all perpetrators is their manipulative and abusive attitudes and behaviours. We need to work with schools, faith groups, communities, parents and young people themselves to address any factors which might generate unacceptable attitudes within any ethnic group.

“We will continue working closely with those neighbourhood bodies which recognise the risks of such cultural attitudes within some men and boys in their own communities and challenge such attitudes.”

The report also stated that many survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse do not come forward with complaints as they think they will not be believed or that they will be threatened by offenders.

Our child abuse lawyers are committed to pursuing cases to the best possible outcome, without causing any additional psychological trauma to those affected. Call 0370 150 100 to talk confidentially to someone about making a claim or visit our Abuse & Criminal Injury Claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
The rise in the number of children in Birmingham and the West Midlands identified as at risk by this report is extremely concerning. While the huge spike in potential survivors of abuse in the region may be down to growing confidence that allegations will be treated seriously and the availability of help and support, it is also worrying some survivors still feel they will not be believed.

“The most important consideration should be those at risk of exploitation or those who have suffered abuse in the region, which means improving access to the therapy, counselling and support services available, to ensure survivors are able to move forward and put the harmful experiences they have endured behind them.

“It is crucial that any failings identified in Birmingham and the West Midlands in the way sexual exploitation is handled are highlighted and any changes required are put in place immediately, to reduce the number of at risk children and to prevent children from suffering the abuse previous generations have.”
Luke Daniels, Partner