Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore has welcomed the Home Secretary’s announcement of an independent inspection into the police’s response to Child Sexual Exploitation, with the Bradford District being highlighted as a specific area of concern. The news follows a longstanding campaign by Moore for an inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in the Bradford District, in which the police have been identified as one of the organisations where failings have been known to have taken place.
Since being elected, Moore has used Westminster debates to raise his deep concerns regarding child sexual exploitation, grooming gangs and child sexual abuse on numerous occasions, and has met with the Home Secretary multiple times to discuss the issue. At the end of last year, Moore held his own personal debate on child sexual exploitation within the Bradford District, to specifically shine a light on these issues which have haunted his constituency of Keighley for decades. Moore used the debate to highlight concerns of multi-agency failings that included West Yorkshire Police and Bradford Council. In response, Home Office Minister for Safeguarding Rachel Maclean, who has departmental responsibility for Child Sexual Exploitation, announced the Government’s support for Moore’s calls that additional action be taken to address failings within the Bradford District, so that victims could be better supported and protected.
The inspection announced by the Home Secretary will look at inadequacies in past responses to Child Sexual Exploitation by police forces, and will assess current policing practice across England and Wales. It aims to ensure all police forces are employing the most effective approaches in protecting victims from child sexual exploitation and relentlessly pursuing offenders. The Home Office argue it “will ensure learning from past mistakes is being applied by police forces across the country, so that they can respond effectively to all victims and bring more offenders to justice.”
Following Mr Moore’s request, the Bradford District has been specifically referenced by the Home Office as an area which has specific concern. Moore has stated that, when examining the local area, other local matters must be considered for the full scope of the problem to be addressed. This includes the ethnicity of the perpetrators and victims, as well as the role of other local agencies, such as Bradford Council’s Children’s Services.
Moore is still calling on Bradford Council and our West Yorkshire Mayor to approve his demands for a ‘Rotherham Style’ inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in the Bradford District, but has very much welcomed the Home Secretary’s announcement that failings of the police force will be properly reviewed.
Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore said: “Since being elected, I have on many occasions raised my deep concerns regarding child sexual exploitation and grooming gangs which have haunted our community for far too long, and still do. I have spoken with the Home Secretary and Home Office Ministers on countless occasions to make sure we finally do something about this atrocious crime, and that where failings have been identified we get to the bottom of this so that we can best protect victims and their families.
There can be no denying that this horrific crime happens under everyone’s noses in our area. There has been identified failings within West Yorkshire Police and at Bradford Council in how they have dealt with such cases. Therefore, it is absolutely right that the Bradford District has been specifically highlighted by the Home Secretary as an area of focus for this inspection into police forces. In my view, it is paramount that the inquiry will focus on certain local factors, such as the ethnicity of the perpetrators and the victims of Child Sexual Exploitation, as well as the multi-agency failings of local bodies such as Bradford Council’s Children’s Services. I have heard time and time again from victims of child sexual exploitation that they have been failed by these organisations in the name of political correctness, and in my view this has to stop.
This is an extremely difficult issue, but unless we talk openly and honestly about it, we are failing. As I have expressed to the Home Secretary, we need to ensure current practice is relentless in protecting children, supporting victims and bringing perpetrators to justice.”
For more information on the Home Secretary's announcement, please click here; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-secretary-commissions-inspectio…