A NEW report pinpoints parts of the district with the highest number of complaints of child sex abuse.

The in-depth study looks at cases of ten to 18-year-olds that have been referred to Bradford’s Child Sexual Exploitation Hub.

As well as providing a geographic breakdown of cases, the report also builds a picture of the age and ethnic background of alleged offenders and potential victims.

The authors of the report examined two main sets of data: the overall figures for cases referred to the hub in the 2015/16 financial year and a snapshot of ‘open cases’ that were being dealt with by the hub on March 29, 2016.

On that date, Bradford East was the constituency with the highest number of open child sexual exploitation (CSE) cases across the district, with a quarter of cases at that point involving a potential victim from Bradford East.

The constituency with the second highest number of children at risk of CSE was Bradford South, with 22 per cent of the district’s open cases, followed by Keighley (19 per cent), Bradford West (14 per cent) and Shipley (8 per cent).

Detailed analysis shows that more than three-quarters of alleged perpetrators were aged under 35, with 32 per cent aged 18 to 25, and 15 per cent under 18. Just 11 per cent involved people aged 46 or older.

Meanwhile, almost half of alleged perpetrators (48 per cent) were Asian, more than a third (36 per cent) were white, four per cent were black and 12 per cent were classed as ‘unknown’.

Two-thirds of the children involved in open cases were white, 12 per cent were Asian, eight per cent were mixed heritage, one per cent were black, and 13 per cent were either classed as ‘other’ or ‘unknown’.

Almost half of the children were either classed as ‘children in need’ or had been in some sort of care.

During 2015/16, there were 112 children from Bradford East being monitored by the Hub.

Within that constituency, Eccleshill was the Council ward with highest number of children referred to the hub who were thought to be at risk of CSE, a total of 24. Bolton and Undercliffe was the constituency’s second highest ward, with 20 children at risk of CSE, with Bradford Moor and Bowling and Barkerend both having 19.

Within the Bradford East area, 20 per cent of complainants were boys, but the report noted barriers to identifying CSE in boys such as “societal norms around male masculinity and sexuality”.

The peak age for children who were at risk of child sex exploitation was 15, where 38 children were classed as being at risk, five of whom were considered to be ‘high risk’.

The independent CSE Hub is made up of agencies including Bradford Council, West Yorkshire Police, the NHS and local schools.

The report is set to go before the Council’s Bradford East Area Committee on Thursday,

Imran Hussain, MP for Bradford East, said CSE was an “extremely serious issue that will never be tolerated”.

He said: “It is vital that we all work together as a whole district to eradicate this heinous crime. Protecting children and their welfare has to remain at the heart of any strategy and we can never allow this issue to slip down our agenda.”

Councillor Brendan Stubbs (Lib Dem, Eccleshill) said he was disappointed about the number of cases in his ward.

He said: “I hope the high number is due to the fact we have professionals doing their jobs, making sure anything they are concerned about is being reported.

“At Thursday’s meeting when we ask further questions about the report, I hope they will say they are on top of the issue, and it’s not the tip of the iceberg.

“Moving forward I have concerns about how we can keep on top of this around the budget cuts, where youth services and community centres are under threat.”

Cllr Rachel Sunderland (Lib Dem, Bolton) chairman of the Bradford East Area Committee, said the committee requested the report to see the extent of the issue. She said: “We wanted to see if we had a bigger problem than other areas, and to see if we were getting better at reporting possible cases.”

David Niven, chairman of the independent Bradford Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB), said he was pleased that it seemed more people were reporting cases of child sex exploitation, and were showing confidence in the authorities.

He said: “In the past there was less professionalism but now people are a lot more understanding of the issue; people are more confident to come forward and report issues.”

Phil Mitchell, from the Blast Project, said more needed to be done to raise awareness around the sexual exploitation of boys.

He said: “The grooming and sexual exploitation of boys and young men is under-reported and often unrecognised.

“It is well documented that boys and young men do not engage with support or disclose at the same rate as girls and young women, partly due to negative males stereotypes and how professionals perceive them.”

If you have concerns a child may be at risk of sexual exploitation, contact Children’s Social Services on 01274 437500.