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Charity 'deeply concerned' over scale of child sex exploitation in Telford

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The scale of the problem of child sex exploitation in Telford is "deeply concerning", a charity said today.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children spoke as council leaders in the town approved the contents of a 100-page review containing a number of key recommendations in the light of Operation Chalice.

Following the extensive police investigation into a child prostitution and trafficking ring in the borough, nine men were eventually brought to justice and jailed for a total of nearly 50 years.

NSPCC spokesman Adam Burling said: "The scale of the problem of child sexual exploitation in Telford and Wrekin is deeply concerning - so it is vital that action is taken to ensure cases like those which sparked Operation Chalice are prevented in future.

"Child sexual exploitation is a pernicious crime which ruins lives and victims must be able to speak out in the knowledge they will be taken seriously and action will be taken.

"There is clearly more work to be done, and authorities need to have the resources to tackle child sexual exploitation and keep children safe, but it is positive that steps are being taken to address this issue in Telford and Wrekin."

Telford & Wrekin Council's cabinet approved the contents of the review, put together by the authority's children and young persons scrutiny committee, at a meeting this week.

The Telford & Wrekin Safeguarding Children Board will be responsible for acting on the recommendations and must present a full report to the council in May next year.

Steps recommended include extra training for taxi drivers on spotting potentially vulnerable victims and extra training for child care professionals.

Councillor Paul Watling, cabinet member for children and young people at Telford & Wrekin Council, said much work had already been done since the report was originally published earlier this year.

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