More child sexual exploitation victims come forward in Telford
Recent media coverage of child sexual exploitation in Telford has resulted in more victims coming forward this week.
The Child Sexual Exploitation Team based in the town has arrested 56 people since 2016, which has resulted in 29 charges, with a number of the investigations still ongoing.
Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans said that police invest a "significant amount" of resource in trying to identify offenders and bring them to justice.
He said said: "Following the recent media coverage in relation to child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Telford, a small number of victims have contacted West Mercia Police.
"We are pleased they have had the confidence to come forward and we are ensuring their reports are thoroughly investigated and the appropriate support is in place for them.
"In Telford alone, the dedicated Child Sexual Exploitation Team based in the town, has since 2016, arrested 56 people, resulting in 29 charges, with a number of these investigations still ongoing. We invest a significant amount of resource in trying to identify offenders and bring them to justice for the crimes they commit."
Assistant Chief Constable Evans added that the recent reports relate to "non-recent" offences and that they will be reviewed.
"The CSE reports we have received this week relate to non-recent child sexual exploitation offences and we will be reviewing them alongside any other available information, ensuring those reporting abuse are fully supported," he said.
"Any incident or information that is reported to us as child sexual exploitation is investigated as such and taken very seriously, regardless of whether or not the victim is engaged with authorities. We will always pursue any lines of enquiry whilst at the same time looking to support these people in any way possible.
"Our message to offenders who perpetrate these horrific crimes is that we will robustly investigate any reports we receive, and go wherever the evidence takes us to secure a conviction against you.
"No child under 18 can ever consent to being sexually abused and exploited. Under UK law, a boy or girl under the age of 16 cannot consent to any kind of sexual activity and it is an offence for anyone to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 16.
"We know that the key to tackling child sexual exploitation is the bravery of victims speaking up and communities working together with us to share information. If you suspect a child is being exploited, or have any concerns about a child, please call or text the national helpline Say Something on 116 000. You can also ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."