Keighley and Ilkley's MP Robbie Moore has described a damning report into child sexual exploitation in Rochdale as a "wake-up call" for leaders in Bradford to instigate their own independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in the District.
The independent report, which was triggered by Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham found girls were "left at the mercy" of paedophile grooming gangs for years because of failings by senior police and council bosses .
The review sets out a series of failed investigations by Greater Manchester Police (GMP). It also highlights the apparent local authority indifference to the plight of hundreds of youngsters identified as potential victims of Asian men, and found whistleblowers raised concerns despite facing vocal criticism from authorities.
Mr Moore says the similarities between Rochdale and Bradford are "too stark to ignore", with the local MP praising the "moral conviction" of the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham for triggering the inquiry and urging Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe and Mayor Tracy Brabin to follow suit.
The MP's longstanding bid for a full inquiry is opposed by Bradford Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe, who claimed a full inquiry "would not be of additional value" following a damning thematic review in 2021 which found five children across the area “suffered abuse no child should have to experience”.
As a result of the Rochdale report, 96 men have been identified as a current potential risk to children.
West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin, who also has the power to instigate a review, has called claims that child grooming in the District was overlooked “categorically false”.
And Keighley's Parliamentary candidate John Grogan also opposes calls for an inquiry, with the former MP telling the Keighley news in 2017 that Bradford Council already had a "robust system” in place to protect children.
Mr Moore's campaign recently earned the backing of Switalskis, a law firm with extensive experience in child abuse cases who have worked with over 100 women affected by the Rotherham exploitation scandal.
Switalskis Director, David Greenwood, says: “My team has worked for over 100 women caught up in the Rotherham exploitation scandal. I fear Bradford has its own scandal and it’ll dwarf Rotherham..."I’m receiving more and more enquiries about street exploitation of young girls in Bradford. The council and the police should have done more to prevent it and to disrupt the gangs. The situation is very similar to Rotherham where the council was brave enough to commission Professor Alexis Jay and her team to report on council failures.
Residents can sign Mr Moore’s recent petition for a full inquiry by visiting robbiemoore.org.uk/stop-CSE
Robbie Moore MP said:
“The similarities between today’s horrifying findings in Rochdale and reports from across the Bradford District are too stark to ignore and should be a wake-up call to leaders across our District to act now.
I am again urging Bradford council Leader, Susan Hinchcliffe and our West Yorkshire Mayor, Tracy Brabin to follow the moral conviction shown by the Mayor of Greater Manchester and back my longstanding calls for a full, independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation across the Bradford district. I also urge Keighley’s Parliamentary candidate John Grogan to put local people first, reverse his opposition to a full CSE inquiry and back our calls for justice.
This is an issue that should transcend political divides, which is why I am pleased to see my campaign has the backing of Switalskis, a law firm with extensive experience in child abuse cases who have worked with over 100 women affected by the Rotherham exploitation scandal.
A full inquiry is a crucial step to understanding the scale and intricacies of these crimes, bringing the guilty to justice, formulating a comprehensive strategy to take on CSE and, most importantly, giving victims and their families scarred by the horrors of exploitation the accountability they deserve.”