Sexual exploitation victims 'living in fear' says Telford MP, as abuser set to be released - with video
Victims of child sexual exploitation are "too often being ignored" Telford MP Lucy Allan told the House of Commons today.
Ms Allan said victims in the borough were not informed as it was revealed that one of the ringleaders of the Telford grooming gang, who was given a 22-year sentence in 2012, is due to be released on licence in November this year.
He was due to serve 14 years in custody and eight years on licence.
Raising the issue at Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon, the Telford MP said the authorities did not inform victims of the forthcoming release or involve them in the terms of the release.
Victims were not asked to contribute to any decision by a parole board nor were they consulted about the licence terms, she said.
Under the Victim Contact Scheme victims should be allocated a victim liaison officer and should be consulted and supported.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Ms Allan said: "A young woman in Telford who gave evidence in a horrific child sexual exploitation case five years ago is living in fear.
"The perpetrator, who received a 22-year sentence, is about to be released early.
"CSE victims are too often overlooked and ignored. Does the Prime Minister agree with me that CSE victims should be properly consulted upon the release of perpetrators and, in this case, the perpetrator should not be returned to Telford."
In response, Theresa May said: "This is a very important issue that the honourable member has raised and we all know that child sexual exploitation is an absolutely horrific crime that takes place and it is absolutely right that, if victims are going to come forward to report this abuse, they need to know that they are going to have the support and have the confidence that they can do that and be confident in their future security and safety as well.
"The victim contact scheme is supposed to treat victims properly and it is supposed to ensure that consideration is given to victim related conditions when they are looking at an offenders license and somebody being released.
"What I say to my honourable friend is if she would like to write to my Right Honourable Friend, the Justice Secretary, with the details of the case then he will look at it very carefully."
Speaking after the debate, Ms Allan said: “These victims are vulnerable young women who are trying to rebuild their lives after a traumatic experience. They need support and information at this difficult time.
“In the Telford case, despite the horrific nature of this crime, no-one spoke up for these victims publicly. When I started speaking out about it I was told by senior figures that I was bringing our town into disrepute and attracting Britain First protests to Telford.
“I received a letter signed by 10 senior representatives of the Telford community, saying that they ‘have learned the lessons, implemented recommendations and put in place effective strategies.’
“I want to see the authorities recognise and understand that given the nature of this crime much more needs to be done to help victims cope and recover.”
Seven Telford men were jailed in 2013 in the Operation Chalice operation against a child prostitution ring.
The trial at Worcester Crown Court heard men sexually abused, trafficked, prostituted or tried to prostitute four Telford teenagers, who were as young as 13.
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