Lawyers Welcome Proactive Approach To Preventing Grooming
Specialist abuse lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office have spoken of their concern after part of an official document was leaked online. The document contained a list of ‘grooming hotspots’ including public open spaces and takeaways.
The list was seen by the BBC having initially being compiled for internal purposes by Northumberland Police.
Northumberland Police said the list was not formal and did not outline crime-related incidents, but instead was intended to help identify potential safeguarding issues by highlighting popular areas with younger girls.
Emma Crowther, a specialist abuse legal expert at Irwin Mitchell, said:
Expert Opinion“While it is obviously concerning that hotspots for grooming activities do exist in Newcastle, it’s positive that the police are taking a proactive approach to try and prevent the act occurring.
“Through the work we do at Irwin Mitchell, we hear the first-hand accounts of those who are victims of abuse and have experienced grooming. These accounts are deeply upsetting and we welcome efforts to try and prevent further people having to suffer.” Emma Crowther - Senior Associate Solicitor
This year has seen Newcastle receive national attention due to high-profile grooming cases, including the conviction of 18 people in August for forcing girls to have sex after plying them with drugs and alcohol.
A gang of four men were convicted in September for their part in a gang which had sexually exploited girls as young as 13.
Northumberland Police has said it will be able investigating how the list came to be in the public domain.
Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in abuse claims.