Bradford Council urges people with information about historic sexual abuse in care homes to contact them directly

Published September 27, 2014 by misty534


PLEA: Michael Jameson, the council’s director of children’s services

THE director of children’s services at Bradford Council has urged people with information about historic sexual abuse in care homes to let them know the details so they can investigate it.

Michael Jameson made the call after a whistleblower came forward to the media claiming she had let council staff know about sexual grooming at a Bradford care home she worked in 20 years ago.

The anonymous women claimed that between 1993 and 1994 she reported girls being taken from care homes by older men to police and council staff around 10 times, but nothing ever seemed to be followed up.

Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe was leader of Bradford Council at the time, and has called for an investigation into why these claims were never passed up the chain to senior figures in the council.

Police admitted they were “slow to recognise” child sex exploitation at the time, and will investigate the allegations.

Bradford Council has recently set up a group to look at historic abuse claims at council-run facilities, but Mr Jameson said it was vital that people provide them with names and details of the allegations so they can be acted on.

He said: “Anyone with concerns should come directly to us to share information.

“We view the welfare and safety of our children and young people as the most important responsibility that we have, so we will do whatever we can and should do to protect them.

“We have a multi agency hub involving various partner organisations across Bradford District, co-located and working together under one roof to react quickly to intelligence relating to child sexual exploitation.

“The hub enables partners to share information on a daily basis and provide bespoke support to victims.

“As this particular allegation relates to events over 20 years it will take time to look into the paper records. We need people to come forward and give us the names of young people they are alleging have been sexually abused and the names of key support workers to be able to search further.

“Unless we get these details we can’t track back through all the information in the thorough and methodical way we want and need to. All victims of child sexual exploitation deserve justice.”

West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Russ Foster, said: “We’ve openly accepted that we have, in the past, been slow to recognise the signs of Child sexual exploitation. Twenty years ago we didn’t have the comprehensive multi agency approach that exists today. What is important now is that any victims, or people with information about child sexual exploitation, come forward in confidence.

“The Police have no records of any allegations of abuse or exploitation of children at the home from that time, however, we are looking into this matter and we will be attempting to speak with the lady who has raised these concerns. She will be listened to and any allegations will be thoroughly investigated.”

By Chris Young

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