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Specialist team to protect Bradford children from sexual abuse is dealing with up to 100 suspected cases at any one time

Published November 18, 2014 by JS2

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A TEAM set up to protect Bradford children from sexual abuse is dealing with up to 100 suspected cases at any one time, councillors will be told.

A report drawn up in the wake of the exploitation scandal in Rotherham lays bare the scale of the task facing the city council’s inter-agency ‘hub’.

The hub, which boasts 23 professionals from the police, social care and mental health services, and children’s charity Barnardo’s, meets at 9am every day to discuss cases.

And it has been handed £250,000 of funding, at a time when Bradford Council is being forced to slash tens of millions of pounds from its day-to-day spending.

Now a report, set to be debated by councillors tomorrow, will seek to “provide assurance” that Bradford is doing everything it can to protect the city’s children.

It notes that a recent Ofsted inspection praised the close working of police, social care and Barnardo’s within the hub as “a particular strength”.

But it adds: “Operational data shows that the number of high and medium risk cases managed through the hub is between 60 and 100 at any one time.

“As of June 2014, the ethnic profile of perpetrators shows a significant majority of perpetrators are of British-Pakistani heritage.”

The Council will meet as a committee of MPs warns the horrors of Rotherham – where 1,400 children were abused, over 16 years – “could be repeated across the country”.

Today’s report, by the Commons communities and local government committee, urges other local councils to “review their own arrangements”.

Clive Betts, the committee’s chairman, said: “We heard alarming evidence that the organised child sexual exploitation at Rotherham is prevalent across England.”

Councillor Ralph Berry, Bradford’s executive member for children’s services, said there would be “grim” headlines in the months to come, as historic cases came to court.

But he said: “We’ve found £250,000 of additional money and I believe we now have the proper procedures, and the appropriate skills, to support victims of sexual exploitation.”

Among the steps taken by Bradford are:

  • Ensuring all looked-after children cases are reviewed regularly by independent officers – including those placed outside Bradford.
  • Allowing those children to speak with an advocate to “ensure their views are heard, understood and considered by those responsible for their care”
  • Ensuring every Year 10 student watches a “drama” about sexual exploitation.
  • Training ‘peer mentors’ to work with young people in Keighley, through the Hand in Hand project.
  • Commissioning Barnardo’s to expand its work to support more boys and young men.

‘Child sex grooming arrests in Bradford fall slightly’

Published July 18, 2013 by JS2

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Year-on-year arrests for child sex grooming fell slightly in Bradford, according to statistics from a Freedom of Information request.

When asked how many arrests West Yorkshire Police made for child sexual exploitation between March, 2012, and March, 2013, statisticians showed that in the Bradford South division the figures fell from 82 to 78 arrests.

But in the police division of Airedale and North Bradford, includingKeighley, the arrest figure leapt by 25 per cent from 70 to 88 compared to the previous year.

The numbers of people actually charged with such offences in Bradford during that timespan dropped from 22 to 17 and from 24 to eight in the Airedale and North Bradford area.

In that same year, the number of Asian people across West Yorkshire arrested for sex offences involving victims under 18 rose from 98 to 142.

The total arrests for that particular crime during the year until March, 2013, fell from 684 to 639.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Ingrid Lee said: “Offences of child sexual exploitation and other sexually based offences against children are completely unacceptable and this Force works very hard in bringing those who commit these offences to justice.

“The Asian community is one that has previously been discussed regarding the issue of Child Sexual Exploitation.

“The Asian community takes this issue very seriously and is doing a great deal to address child exploitation to educate and prevent this crime, but what we need is people from all communities to come forward and report to police anyone they suspect as being involved in any child sexual offences as this affects and happens in all communities.

“To focus on one section of the community allows this dreadful crime to remain hidden elsewhere.”

She said police commitment to tackling the problem could be seen in the launch of a campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation, Know the Signs.

Arrests for human trafficking also spiked with six arrests in Bradford South – up five on the previous year – and two recorded in Airedale and North Bradford compared to none in 2011-12.

Keighley Tory MP Kris Hopkins said: “It remains an outrage that these offences continue to be perpetrated on this scale, and I applaud the police for pursuing those involved with tireless determination and vigour.”

Councillor Ralph Berry, in charge of children and young people’s services for Bradford, said: “The public should have confidence that we are absolutely committed to this issue. Nothing matters more to us than getting this right.

“In the Bradford area there has been a targetting of the issue, including trafficking that is linked to sexual exploitation, on adult women as well as children.

“These arrests are fed by the work of the inter-agency hub that meets five days a week to share information and intelligence. There is a very, very impressive commitment by that hub.

“When information comes in it is being dealt with, and as a result of more attention to the issue victims have more confidence to come forward and realise that their experiences will be recognised. There is absolutely no complacency on this.”

Bradford Council for Mosques said it “totally condemns” all child sexual exploitation.

The spokesman said: “Even one incident is one too many. We welcome the drop in incidents indicated by figures released by the West Yorkshire Police; the numbers being reported are still too high for our district.

“The drop in overall numbers seems to suggest that the message is getting through.”

 

by Christ Tate

Jury resumes deliberations after sexual abuse trial

Published May 23, 2013 by JS2

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The jury considering its verdicts in the trial of a 62-year-old man accused of sexually abusing three children decades ago was today resuming its deliberations after being sent home overnight.

Frank Jones, of Village Mews, Wilsden, Bradford, is alleged to have raped one girl and indecently assaulted her and another girl and boy. He faces 17 charges, including two of rape, 13 of indecent assault and two of sexually abusing a young boy.

The allegations dated back to the mid-1970s when Jones was living in Bradford. He denies all the allegations.

 

Bradford news

Defendant faces 17 charges involving two girls and a boy dating back decades

Published May 14, 2013 by JS2

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A 62-year-old man is on trial at Bradford Crown Court accused of sexually abusing three children in a catalogue of allegations stretching back almost four decades.

Frank Jones, of Village Mews, Wilsden, Bradford, is alleged to have raped one girl and indecently assaulted her and another girl and boy.

He faces a total of 17 charges, including two of rape, 13 of indecent assault and two of sexually abusing a young boy.

Prosecutor Tina Dempster told the jury yesterday that the allegations dated back to the mid-1970s when Jones was living in Bradford with his wife and family.

He was arrested in January last year after one of his alleged victims, now a grown woman, went to the police in October, 2011.

Miss Dempster said the woman’s mental health had deteriorated after she suffered years of abuse at Jones’s hands.

It is claimed he began molesting her when she was four years old and continued until she was about 12.

Miss Dempster said the child pretended to be dead or asleep when she heard him approaching.

His second alleged victim was a girl of 13 who found him “larger than life, great fun and the life and soul of the party”.

Jones is said to have groped her when she was sleeping on the settee while staying at his home.

He is accused of molesting the boy when he was under six years old.

Miss Dempster said that Jones denied all of the allegations.

He told the police he was entirely innocent of any wrong doing with the children.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC told the jury the case would last into next week.

The trial continues.

 

by Michael Black

Sexual abuse of drunken girl was ‘a joke’, Bradford court is told

Published April 17, 2013 by JS2

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A 15-year-old girl accused of sexually abusing a drunken schoolgirl and photographing her while she was unconscious told a jury it was a joke at the time and she did not mean to hurt her.

The teenager said it was a boy aged 15 and a 14-year-old girl on trial with her at Bradford Crown Court who kicked mud and grass on the comatose girl and ripped off her clothes.

She told the court all three of them took pictures of the 13-year-old girl on their phones and she sent several of them to another boy.

The teenagers, who cannot be named, are accused of humiliating the girl to entertain themselves at the start of the school Christmas holidays.

All three deny sexually assaulting her in a field in Queensbury, Bradford, on December 22, 2011.

The 15-year-old girl pleads not guilty to taking or making indecent photos of the girl and distributing some of them. The boy and the younger girl deny taking indecent photos of her.

The 15-year-old girl told the jury yesterday she was 13 at the time of the incident. She and the other two defendants were with the girl, who was drinking neat vodka and spinning round to get drunk quickly.

She had stolen money from her mother to buy the vodka and had downed most of the bottle.

“We were just joking about and having a laugh together,” the 15-year-old girl said. After she fell over, the girl was “making weird noises, like mumbling.”

“I didn’t realise how drunk she was because I had never seen anyone in a state like that. I thought it was a silly joke,” she said.

The others ripped off her clothing and the 14-year-old girl moved her into different positions, she alleged.

“I was laughing and someone started taking pictures. I did not think we were doing anything wrong at the time,” she told the court.

She said she thought they would all laugh about it afterwards, including the drunken girl.

Asked by Nick Askins, for the Crown: “Did you think the pictures were rude?”

The girl replied: “Not at the time, but obviously, now.”

The trial continues

 

bradford argus

Frizinghall man sentenced for exposing himself to girl

Published March 27, 2013 by JS2

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A 47-year-old man indecently exposed himself to an eight-year-old girl he abducted from the street after telling her to wash his hair when he was naked in the bath, Bradford Crown Court heard.

Adrian Wadley said: “Look, little girl, look at this,” after plying her with sweets, taking her for a bike ride and buying her a hat and gloves.

Wadley, of Aireville Road,Frizinghall, Bradford, appeared in custody at Bradford Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced for child abduction, exposure and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to all the offences that took place on August 26 last year.

When police found the girl at his flat, after her worried mother had called them to say she was missing, Wadley told them he was being a Good Samaritan and supervising her, prosecutor Andrew Kershaw told the court.

The girl was playing out with her bicycle when she failed to come home. Various people had seen her with Wadley, being pushed along on his bike.

She told the police he had bought her sweets, a hat and gloves and they had been for a cycle ride in the park and on a rocking horse. The child said Wadley had been naked in the shower and the bath, when she was told to shampoo his hair.

He had then exposed himself.

Mr Kershaw said that in April 2011, Wadley was issued with a police penalty notice for disorderly behaviour after he was caught in the disabled persons’ cubicle in public toilets peeping at women using the lavatory.

Two months later, there were complaints that he was hiding behind a bush watching children in a play area. Police found him concealed behind the shrub with his trousers undone. Mr Kershaw said both those incidents took place in Somerset.

He told the court Wadley was “systematically grooming” the girl so she would feel comfortable with him when he was naked.

Judge Colin Burn said Wadley, who had been in custody since August, had served the equivalent of a 15-month jail sentence.

He sentenced him to a three-year community order with supervision and a high-level activity requirement. Wadley must sign on the sex offenders’ register for five years and he is barred from unsupervised contact with children, inviting them into his home or working with them.

 

 

by Bradford Telegraph & Argus