Bradford councillor calls for investigation over child trafficking claims (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford councillor calls for investigation over child trafficking claims
8:00am Tuesday 25th September 2012 in News
Claims that sexually exploited children are trafficked in Bradford have to be thoroughly investigated and action taken, the politician responsible for children’s services has said.
National newspaper reports yesterday claimed that allegedly, organised networks of Asian males have exploited young white females in South Yorkshire since 2000.
The report alleges such groups are said to have trafficked South Yorkshire child victims to many other cities including Bradford, Bristol and Manchester.
Councillor Ralph Berry , Bradford Council’s executive member for children’s services, said he could not comment on the allegations, but added: “It must be investigated thoroughly and action taken pretty damn quick.
“We know and are working on the basis there are occasions when children are moved around and exploited and a network of abusers who work with each other, and that is not a new revelation.
“We are working with other children’s services and the police on this. It is a despicable thing to have to deal with and we have support from all faith communities for tackling this.
“Bear in mind we are the fourth biggest metropolitan district in the UK and it is almost inevitable we are mentioned. We are open to scrutiny and confirm this issue is a very high priority.”
Newspaper reports revealed evidence they said was gleaned from more than 200 restricted-access documents which alleged that for more than a decade, organised groups of men were able to groom, pimp and traffic girls across the country with “virtual impunity”.
In January, the Telegraph & Argus revealed that nearly 100 cases of children as young as 12 being sexually exploited were being investigated in Bradford.
Barnardo’s Turnaround Service said at the time it was dealing with 68 active cases of child sexual exploitation and 27 referrals of youngsters aged between 12 and 17.
They have dealt with youngsters as young as ten in the past.