MORE THAN 150 children in the Bradford district were deemed at risk of being sexually exploited in a six-month period, a new report into grooming has revealed.

The study into how child sex exploitation is being tackled locally reveals the number of children that have been referred to a specialist hub, consisting of council, police and health workers.

The report also breaks down the ethnicity of the 158 children referred to the Child Sexual Exploitation Hub between April and September last year.

It shows 99 were white British, 19 from "other white" backgrounds, 23 Asian, 14 mixed heritage, and in three cases ethnicity was not recorded.

In terms of age, 17 were under 12, 30 were aged 12-13, 65 were 14-15 and 46 were over 16. Meanwhile, 30 of the children were male.

The document, being presented to Bradford Council's executive committee next Tuesday, also reveals details about what is being done to stop abusers, and that the hub is currently investigating 48 separate cases of suspected grooming.

Children are referred to the hub from numerous sources, including social services and charities, and flagged if they are at risk of being groomed.

The previous six months, October 2013 to April 2014, had seen 170 children referred to the hub.

Last month, a further 55 children were assessed and deemed to be a "high risk" of grooming. Eight of these children were of gypsy or Roma heritage.


The report, by Paul Hill from the Bradford Safeguarding Children Board, reveals some details of ongoing investigations. Of the 48 cases, 18 suspected abusers are Asian, 11 white British and two Eastern European.

Seven suspected groomers are currently awaiting trial due to investigations by the hub, and four people have been convicted over the past six months. One has been found not guilty, and one received a caution.

There is also an investigation being carried out by West Yorkshire Police's Homicide and Major Enquiries Team, which deals with more complex cases. That investigation is mainly based in Keighley, and 26 men are currently on bail and "likely to be charged in 2015."

Suspected groomers are being given 'child abduction warning notices' which let them know they can be arrested for associating with certain children who officers believe are at risk of exploitation.

Since April 2013, 40 of these notices have been served.

Councillor Ralph Berry, the Council's executive member for children's services, said: "We want the most up front, direct strategy we can to deal with this issue. More people are being prosecuted.

"We're using creative techniques as much as possible to deal with this, such as the child abduction warning notices. We are trying to keep on top of the changing patterns, such as the number of Eastern European children at risk. It is a constantly changing process and there are lots of different patterns when it comes to child sex exploitation.

"We have to look at facts without worrying about being politically correct, we have to deal with anyone willing to engage in this activity. But some of these figures show that people who are prepared to rape and abuse children don't operate based on racial identity, it is about exerting power over children."

Cllr Debbie Davies, Conservative spokesman for children's services, said: "I'm pleased there is a focus on children who are at risk. I hope that when these people identified as abusers are brought to court they are dealt with appropriately."

The report calls for the executive to approve a number of training programmes to increase awareness of child sex exploitation among councillors and council staff, widen school initiatives and establish a historic child sex abuse team.

The executive meets at City Hall at 10am on Tuesday.