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PM urges action on 'grooming' problem
7:00am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
Prime Minister David Cameron is calling on community leaders to work with agencies to stamp out sexual grooming.
He was reacting after it was revealed that police investigating predatory paedophiles in the Bradford district have made 54 arrests in the last five months and that about 70 young people, mostly girls, have been identified as being at potential risk from sexual exploitation.
Last week two child rapists, who travelled to Keighley to groom and snare their victims, were jailed for a total of 36 years.
Mr Cameron said: “These cases are absolutely appalling – it is child sexual abuse and must not be tolerated.
“This is a complex problem and I am determined that we tackle it effectively by working collaboratively right across Government and with national and local agencies.
“We have been delivering a child sexual exploitation action plan to raise awareness, prosecute and jail criminals, protect young people and help victims recover.
“I expect those in leadership positions across the community together with the Local Safeguarding Children Board, Bradford Council, West Yorkshire Police and other agencies to do all they can to identify victims and abusers and send out a clear message this is totally unacceptable.”
Police figures show that in January the latest month for which data was available, 72 youngsters in Bradford district – mostly girls – were considered at risk. The previous month’s number was 69.
Speaking after the jailing of the two men, Chief Superintendent Angela Williams, the commander of Airedale and North Bradford Police, said: “There are ongoing investigations into similar crimes – including another case in Keighley.”