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Tackling child sexual exploitation in the West Midlands

Published October 20, 2014 by JS2

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Tackling child sexual exploitation in the West Midlands

An event to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation is taking place today (Monday).

The conference will look at how to identify signs of possible abuse and how public services are working together to tackle it.

Muslim Women’s Network UK, West Midlands Police and Dudley, Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Walsall, Coventry, Birmingham and Solihull councils are hosting the conference called Tackling CSE: Our Collective Commitment.

It will take place at Birmingham Council House on Monday 20 October.

Police, local councils, charities, community groups and the West Midlands Chief Crown Prosecutor will talk about the steps being taken to protect children and how we can all play a part.

Muslim Women’s Network UK will also launch a new education film, aimed particularly at Asian girls, to raise awareness of the risks and encourage communities in taking a stand against abuse.

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a crime that can affect any child, anytime, regardless of their social or ethnic background. It is child abuse and involves perpetrators grooming their victims in various ways, such as in person, via mobiles or online, to gain their trust before emotionally and sexually abusing them.

It can take place in many forms, whether through a seemingly consensual relationship, or a young person being forced to have sex in return for some kind of payment, such as drugs, money, gifts or even protection and affection.

Chair of Muslim Women’s Network UK, Shaista Gohir, said: “According to our research, front line agencies and Asian communities have little understanding about Asian victims of sexual exploitation.  We have therefore produced an information booklet and a video highlighting a real life case study of an Asian female victim.  There can be a tendency amongst Asian communities to prioritise protection of honour over safeguarding of vulnerable girls. We hope our campaign helps to change these attitudes.”

Stephen Rimmer, West Midlands lead for tackling CSE, said: “We face a real and present threat of child sexual exploitation across the West Midlands, as does the rest of the country. This is a particularly challenging, as well as horrible, crime because the predators abusing our young people manipulate vulnerable emotions and feelings to get what they want. We are getting better at identifying those girls and boys at most serious risk of harm – at least 210 were identified in the first half of this year across the West Midlands – and we are working together across all agencies to much greater effect. We have a long term campaign – ‘See me, hear me’ – which will raise public awareness further.

“We now need to ensure that our work to pursue and prosecute where appropriate, offenders who exploit vulnerable young people is relentless in its impact. There is no hiding place for anyone in the West Midlands abusing their position or status to target young people.”

Yvonne Mosquito, West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Communities are understandably anxious about the threat posed by child sexual exploitation. Parents worry constantly about what is happening to their children online. Young people themselves feel pressured into being ‘popular’ or ‘respected’ and get caught up in risky situations. Tackling CSE demands a totally joined up response from all the agencies and that is what they will get from West Midlands Police as we are investing more than ever before in resources for this. We will not only track down the perpetrators, we will lead the action against attitudes that breed abusive behaviour, including through funding an awareness raising film for the first time for the young Asian male, as this group have not previously had resources designed for them.”

Anyone who is concerned about the safety of a young person can call West Midlands Police on 101, speak in confidence to Barnardo’s on 0121 3595333 or in an emergency call 999.
Childline also has counsellors available online at www.childline.org.uk
People can find out more information about child sexual exploitation by visiting www.seeme-hearme.org.

ENDS

Notes to editors

Speakers at the conference will be available for interview on the day.

The See Me Hear Me campaign was launched in June 2014 and is ongoing across the region. There are targeted resources, such as information packs aimed at parents, schools and the children and young people themselves. These will also be used to increase awareness among those who work in leisure and hospitality industries, such as hotels, leisure centres and taxi companies.
The campaign follows the development of The See Me Hear Me regional framework, which sets out how agencies across the West Midlands will work together to prevent, respond to and support victims.
The framework was developed by the seven councils, West Midlands Police and partner organisations, including Barnardo’s and PACE and is based on recommendations from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/info/csegg1
For further information contact:  Sarah Kirby
Communications
Birmingham Council
0121 303 3287
Or

Katherine Finney
Communications
Dudley Council
01384 815227

HIA: RUC knew about sexual abuse at Rubane House

Published October 2, 2014 by JS2

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The inquiry is taking place at Banbridge Courthouse

The RUC and state agencies knew about sexual abuse at a boys’ home in County Down, in 1964, an abuse inquiry has heard.

They were alerted after a 14-year-old boy was abused by a De La Salle brother at Rubane House.

The details were revealed at the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry.

A total of 13 Northern Ireland institutions are being investigated.

On Thursday, the inquiry heard that the order removed the perpetrator from the home and he was eventually expelled from the order.

‘Extremely grave’

An investigation by the De La Salle Irish headquarters deemed the incident “extremely grave” and concluded that the brother “would never again be allowed to have any contact with boys in any school”.

In a letter to Rome, seeking the brother’s dispensation from the order, he was described as having engaged in “grave immoral actions with a number of young boys”.

The 1964 letter also described him as “a positive danger to young boys”.

The inquiry also heard that details of the abuse were known at police headquarters in Belfast, but the brother was not prosecuted as he had moved to the Republic of Ireland.

‘Failures’

A Ministry of Home Affairs letter from the time, read to the inquiry, concluded that “all concerned believed these were isolated incidents”.

Another departmental letter, linked to the incident, was marked “secret” and in the Northern Ireland Public Records Office, it was labelled “closed to public”.

In an opening submission on behalf of the De La Salle order, the brothers again publicly accepted and said they deeply regretted that boys in their care were abused.

The statement said: “They wish to offer their sincere and unreserved apology to all of those whom they failed to protect.

‘Unreserved apology’

“The brothers recognise the sense of betrayal that the victims have experienced and the violation of trust caused by certain brothers within the order.

“They recognise that there have been failures to protect the victims.”

The HIA inquiry was set up in 2013 to investigate child abuse in residential institutions in Northern Ireland over a 73-year period, up to 1995.

About 200 former residents of Rubane House have made allegations of abuse.

A total of 55 former residents have come forward to the inquiry to allege that they were physically or sexually abused.

BBC news

Under-fire judge to face paedophile in court

Published August 9, 2013 by JS2

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A judge at the centre of a storm in the UK over inappropriate comments made about a teenage sex attack victim is to face the abuser again in court.

Judge Nigel Peters QC is being investigated by the judicial watchdog over remarks made during the sentencing of paedophile Neil Wilson, who admitted engaging in sexual activity with the 13-year-old girl.

Wilson, 41, who walked free from court with a suspended sentence, is to appear before Judge Peters via videolink at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday to deal with “an administrative matter” in relation to his sentence.

A row broke out earlier this week when it emerged prosecuting barrister Robert Colover labelled the young girl “predatory” and “sexually experienced” and Judge Peters said he accounted for the way the girl looked and behaved when he sentenced Wilson.

Mr Colover has been suspended from prosecuting sexual offence cases pending a review by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), while Judge Peters’ comments are to be investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints.

 

breaking news IE

Top-level police probe into Mirror revelations about paedophile ring “cover-up” linked to MP

Published March 27, 2013 by JS2

It comes after a two-month investigation in which we spoke to politicians, alleged victims, police officers and former children’s home staff

 

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A top-level investigation was launched last night in response to the Daily Mirror’s revelation about a police “cover-up” of a suspected paedophile ring linked to MPs.

A top-level investigation was launched last night in response to the Daily Mirror’s revelation about a police “cover-up” of a suspected paedophile ring linked to MPs.

The dramatic move by Scotland Yard follows our story yesterday that a top detective was booted off a case investigating sexual abuse in children’s homes in London after he named politicians as suspects.

The “breakthrough” could lead to one of the biggest child sex abuse case reviews in the Met’s history as top investigators probe claims dating back as far as the 70s.

Detective Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll, who was looking into accusations of abuse in Lambeth, South London, said Yard bosses interfered with the probe in 1999.

One of the figures is thought to have been an MP.

Last night, a Met police spokeswoman said: “Following concerns raised by DCI Clive Driscoll, the Serious Case Team of the Met’s Child Abuse Investigation Command, under Detective Superintendent David Gray, will review all material and papers in the original case.”

It comes after a two-month investigation by the Daily Mirror in which we spoke to politicians, alleged victims, police officers and former children’s home staff.

DS Gray and his team will examine claims a file of evidence containing details of allegations against politicians went missing after DCI Driscoll handed it to a senior officer.

It will also look into whether or not the claims were investigated by officers from Operation Middleton, which probed child sex abuse in Lambeth’s care homes before 1994.

The operation ran between 1998 and 2003 and resulted in three convictions, including that of former care home boss Michael John Carroll.

Child protection groups and politicians last night praised DCI Driscoll and the Met insisted he would not face disciplinary actions for speaking out.

Labour MP and former Lambeth councillor John Mann said: “It is a great breakthrough that the Met are looking into this and it is all thanks to the Daily Mirror.

“The review will have important consequences for victims who will feel more encouraged to come forward.

“I applaud DCI Driscoll’s integrity and his courage in speaking out. I received a similar allegation in 1988 when I was investigating corruption, sexual exploitation and blackmail in Lambeth council.

“Two police officers who worked on those allegations at the time complained to me about high-level interference from Scotland Yard in their investigations.”

Fellow Labour MP Gerry Sutcliffe said: “It’s imperative this is fully reviewed because the claim that an officer was taken off an investigation because politicians were involved is of serious public concern.

“We must get to the truth of what happened.”

DCI Driscoll revealed: “I was unhappy with the interference of senior officers who did not appear to have any logical connection to my investigation into child sex abuse in Lambeth.”

Victim of abuse at children’s homes linked to supected MP paedophile ring speaks out

 

Former Children's Home
                                     Highland Road children’s home

 

A victim of abuse at children’s homes linked to suspected paedophile politicians last night accused police of failing to properly investigate his own claims.

The man, now a 44-year-old delivery driver, told detectives in 1998 that he was assaulted at the age of eight by a female worker while in the care of Lambeth council in South London.

He was later moved to the borough’s Highland Road children’s home, where he suffered two years of abuse from paedophile Michael John Carroll.

Shockingly, Carroll had already been convicted of child abuse.

The man said that in 1998 he gave Merseyside police a ­statement about both Carroll and the female carer but his ­allegations about the woman weren’t followed up.

He said: “It was dismissed just like an everyday occurrence.”

Carroll, however, was subsequently convicted of abusing him and another 11 children.

Last night the victim praised the Mirror’s investigation, saying: “You have to ask yourself why would anyone want to interfere in an investigation into the abuse of children?

“I think it is vital that these allegations are investigated and we find out what was going on. We have to find out because it stinks to high heaven.”

 

By Tom Pettifor

Broomlands paedophile PTA head given free reign of school

Published March 1, 2013 by JS2

PTA paedophile Paul Archer had free run of Broomlands Primary school, angry parents claimed this week.

Archer, jailed for three years this week after being caught with more than 11,000 sickening child porn images, was allowed to chaperone pupils on school trips and helped run the school’s football team, parents claimed.

Shocked mums and dads also say he was left unsupervised to take photos of pupils for a school calendar.

Education bosses at North Ayrshire Council denied this claim and insisted he did not take part in any school activity, or have access to the school, once he had been charged.

Concerned parents told a different story about the former PTA head, claiming he was given free run of the school.

One parent, Stephanie Greer, whose child is eligible to join the school’s Primary One class in the summer, says the incident has made her re-consider her options. “Daisy is at the nursery at the moment but the way the school has acted over this has left me disgusted and made me think I should take her to a different school.”

Linda Beveridge is a neighbour of Mr Archer.

“I’m absolutely sickened by all of this.

“I have a 10-year-old at Broomlands and everyone knows the amount of access he had in that school – your mind goes into overdrive thinking and wondering what he’s been up to.”

Tracey Hargreaves has a 15-year-old daughter who attended Broomlands during Mr Archer’s tenure.

“It’s astonishing that we’ve been kept in the dark for this long.

“The school just seems to be trying to brush this all under the carpet – it really isn’t good enough.”

Alex Collins has two boys at Broomlands. He said “Our kids have got to live with this forever, it should never have happened in the first place.”

Cheryl Cunningham is also disappointed with the way the school has handled the incident. “They handed a folded letter – not even in an envelope – to our children to give to us. It’s lucky that my son didn’t open it up and read it. The whole thing is sickening, the school has failed us as parents – he had no disclosure to go on the PTA and had free rein in the school.”

She added: “If he was never ‘unsupervised’ then why was he alone with the kids taking school photos without disclosure?”

A spokesman for North Ayrshire Council said: “PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) assessments are required for individuals who have regular unsupervised access to children. Parent Council members do not have unsupervised access to children and staff or parents were always in attendance whenever Mr Archer had contact with pupils in the school.

“Mr Archer was not involved in the production of the calendar in question and did not take part in any school activity, or have access to the school, once he had been charged. Strathclyde Police have confirmed there is no suggestion that any photographs he may have taken in his role as a parent of a child at Broomlands Primary – or as a member of the Parent Council – featured in this inquiry.” And the spokesman concluded: “The council has worked closely with Strathclyde Police throughout this investigation to ensure Broomlands pupils were kept safe.”

A man from Hove has been jailed for seven years after being found guilty of historic sex offences against a five-year-old child

Published January 8, 2013 by JS2

David Lennon, 55, of Lovegrove Court, Hove was sent to prison on January 4th after being convicted of the offences that date back to 1999 following a trial at Lewes Crown Court.

 
  1. David Lennon has been jailed for seven years

    David Lennon has been jailed for seven years

The jury found Mr Lennon guilty of five counts of indecent assault which occurred between May 31st and September 1st, 1999.

He was jailed for seven years for the most serious offences and four years to run concurrently for each of the other offences.

Mr Lennon will also be placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely and he has been given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, preventing him from having unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16.

Detective Constable Holly Hallahan from Brighton and Hove Child Protection Team investigated the case. She said: “The defendant was supposed to be supervising whilst the victim had contact with her father – instead he sexually abused her, grossly abusing his position of trust and irreparably damaging a little girl.

“This sentencing is a fantastic result for the victim and her family, and goes some way to easing the pain of the past. The victim is now 18 and this sentence means she can finally move on with her life.

“I hope that this case encourages anyone else who has suffered child abuse – no matter how long ago it happened – to report it to police. Every allegation is fully investigated and, as this case shows, justice can be achieved many years later.”

The victim’s mother said; “We would like to thank DC Hallahan for all her care and support throughout this investigation. We urge anyone who has suffered from heinous crimes of this type to come forward, whether the abuse is current or historic, so that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice.”

by R. Fowler This is Sussex 

BREAKING NEWS: Former teacher jailed for child sex abuse

Published January 5, 2013 by JS2

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A FORMER schoolteacher has been jailed for using his role as a rugby coach to exploit a teenage boy and subject him to a catalogue of sexual abuse

Keith Ruby was found guilty of 16 sexual offences against the youngster by a jury in December, and today (Fri) a judge has sentenced him to 10 years in jail.

The court had heard that the 36-year-old had met the teenager, who was a promising young rugby player, when he was teaching at the prestigious Sidcot School near Winscombe in 2004.

Ruby developed a relationship with the youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, when the pupil was 12.

The trigger for the abuse was the victim’s realisation that he was gay, which he shared in confidence with Ruby, who started asking him questions about his sexuality and then began physically molesting him.

The abuse started when the victim was 14 and lasted for about a year. It took place during massage sessions at the victim’s home, in the changing rooms at both Weston and Winscombe rugby clubs and on an overseas rugby trip.

The court was told Ruby, of Biddisham Lane in Biddisham, had worked himself into a position of trust with the victim’s family, who had believed he was giving their son one-on-one sessions to further his development as a rugby player.

Although a police investigation was launched in February 2006 after allegations about the abuse came to light, the final offence occurred after the investigation was launched.

The initial investigation collapsed in July 2006, but a fresh probe was launched in 2011 when the victim told his parents about the catalogue of abuse.

Ruby denied all 20 allegations relating to the victim, but on December 6 the jury at Taunton found him guilty by majority verdict of 11 counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child and five counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child.

They found him not guilty of two counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and two counts of sexual assault on a child under 13.

The Mercury had been prevented on reporting on the trial and its outcome by a court order, which was lifted this morning.

Ruby was also handed a sexual offences prevention order, forced to sign the sex offences register for life and has been placed on a barring list to prevent him from working with children again in the future.

by Mercury24