Shropshire Star

Tackling child sexual exploitation ‘top priority’ after abuse claims emerge

Police and council bosses have reiterated their commitment to tackling child sexual exploitation in Telford.

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Fresh child sexual exploitation claims have been made, with right top, Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans insisting police are committed to tackling the horrific offences, while, right bottom, MP Lucy Allan renewing her calls for an independent inquiry

West Mercia Police said extra resources were now dedicated to tackling the crime, while Telford & Wrekin Council said tackling CSE remained a “top priority”.

The comments come after a national newspaper claimed up to 1,000 youngsters could have been abused in the town since the 1980s.

In the wake of the claims, Telford MP Lucy Allan has renewed her call for an inquiry into the issue.

Ms Allan called the reports “shocking”.

“There must now be an independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Telford so that our community can have absolute confidence in the authorities,” she said.

Nigel Newman, spokesman for Telford and Wrekin Council, said: “While we can’t comment on the detail of individual cases, child sexual exploitation is a vile, evil crime.

“All agencies in the borough continue to work very closely together and we must leave no stone unturned – this remains our top priority.

"Our approach to CSE is now very different from 10 – 20 years ago. We have learned lots of lessons and made many changes, which we keep under constant review.”

Assistant chief constable for West Mercia Police, Martin Evans, said the latest claims were not new but the force remained committed to tackling the crime.

“We have not only increased officer numbers to tackle this type of offending, but use all of our resources and technology available to prosecute anyone who sexually offends against children.”

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