An LBC investigation has revealed police are looking into over 7,000 cases of suspected child sexual abuse in England and Wales.
Listen: Couldn’t Care Less – LBC’s Hard-Hitting Investigation http://audioboom.com/boos/2628552-couldn-t-care-less-child-abuse-documentary?
In London there were more than 1,800 investigations, with West Yorkshire police investigating 1,100 allegations.
In the major child sexual abuse cases like the ones in Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford and Manchester, many of the victims were in children’s care. Tonight, LBC asks why it is that the most vulnerable children are able to be abused.
Our documentary “Couldn’t Care Less” goes across the country, hearing from those who have been through the care system and revealing its deep flaws: showing how children as young as 16 are being kicked out onto the street, that thousands are running away from the homes and many are being placed in unsuitable B&Bs.
With more a third of children’s care homes being rated as adequate or inadequate by Ofsted, we speak to charities and politicians all of whom say that areas of the care system are failing children too often.
Tom discovered one troubled area in Cliftonville in Thanet, Kent, with five care homes sitting in the middle of a host of criminal activity.
Tom Swarbrick reports: “This is an area of high crime and high unemployment. It’s also where children are dumped. There are five care homes here, numerous B&Bs also housing care leavers.
“Kent supports nearly 10,000 of the most vulnerable children, 1,000 of these children are in Thanet, with more than 150 placed in these two wards – Margate Central and Cliftonville West.
“LBC can reveal that living alongside them is an array of convicted offenders.
“I’ve seen figures which show that in 2012 there were 23 prison releases here, more than 30 people so dangerous they need to be monitored constantly by police. There were nearly 70 home searches of arrested persons, nearly 600 Ambulance pickups here for assaults, drug overdoses, suicide attempts. And then chuck into that mix at least eight persistently missing children.
“The police are trying to help, they are aware of the issues here…but is that the best we can do?”
After months spent investigating this abuse across the UK, he concluded: “Perhaps now we see why those children in our care are able to be abused so badly in places like Rotherham Oxford and Rochdale. We’re not protecting them.
“The government is trying to change things: laws, more safeguards, better training for staff. But we’ve been here before.
“The victims of child abuse are getting their inquiry with or without a chairperson.
“But this abuse is far from historical. It’s happening today. In your town. To children you are paying to protect. I know they’re not your children, but they’re someone’s… and we’re the best they got.”