100 chil­dren at risk of be­ing groomed for sex­ual ex­ploita­tion

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

MORE than 100 chil­dren in Wal­sall have been as­sessed as be­ing at risk of sex­ual ex­ploita­tion – and some may have al­ready be­gun to be groomed, a re­port has re­vealed.

A to­tal of 102 chil­dren have been iden­ti­fied as hav­ing some level of risk in a re­port to the coun­cil with 14 be­ing iden­ti­fied as be­ing at sig­nif­i­cant risk and 24 chil­dren as­sessed as be­ing at se­ri­ous risk, the high­est level.

Wal­sall Chil­dren’s Safe­guard­ing Board is now tak­ing dras­tic and im­me­di­ate mea­sures to tackle the men­ace of sex­ual abuse and ex­ploita­tion in the bor­ough.

The town coun­cil’s head of safe­guard­ing Carol Boughton re­vealed: “Child sex­ual ex­ploita­tion is a se­ri­ous form of sex­ual abuse and is on the rise.

Chil­dren tions and in ex­ploita­tive situ­are­la­tion­ships re­ceive some­thing such as gifts, money or af­fec­tion in re­turn for per­form­ing sex­ual ac­tiv­i­ties or hav­ing oth­ers per­form sex­ual ac­tiv­i­ties on them.

“Chil­dren or young peo­ple may be tricked into be­liev­ing they’re in a lov­ing, con­sen­sual re­la­tion­ship. They are in­vited to par­ties and given drugs and al­co­hol.

“They are also groomed and ex­ploited on­line. Pae­dophiles use a lot of com­mon tac­tics to ma­nipu- late in­no­cent dren.

“Some chil­dren and young peo­ple are brought into the UK es­pe­cially for the pur­poses of sex­ual ex­ploita­tion.

“It can also hap­pen peo­ple in gangs.

“Chil­dren fre­quently trust their abusers and don’t un­der­stand that they’re be­ing abused. They some­times de­pend on their abuser or or vul­ner­a­ble to chil- young are of­ten sim­ply too scared to tell any­one what’s hap­pen­ing. Child sex­ual ex­ploita­tion doesn’t al­ways in­volve phys­i­cal con­tact and can hap­pen on­line.”

Some chil­dren are ex­ploited for crim­i­nal rea­sons by gangs, in par­tic­u­lar the risk of in­volve­ment in ‘county lines – the sup­ply of class A drugs, pri­mar­ily crack co­caine and heroin, from an ur­ban hub into ru­ral towns or county lo­ca­tions.

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