More than 1,000 children sexually abused in Telford

About the Author

Name: Marie Forbes

Title: Solicitor - Historic Abuse/Litigation


Telephone: 023 9298 1000

July 13th, 2022

In 2018 Telford and Wrekin Council commission an independent inquiry following a report from the Sunday Mirror alleging up to 1000 girls had been abused by gangs in Telford since the 1980’s.

In 2012 seven men were jailed following a Police investigation where children as you as 13 were plied with drugs and alcohol and sold for sex by men posing as so-called boyfriends.

In 2016 Telford and Wrekin Council’s children and young people scrutiny committee published a report on tackling child sexual exploitation, which said there were far more victims than those seeking help.

The Independent Inquiry released its report yesterday.  The Chairman, Tom Crowther QC, said “the overwhelming theme of the evidence has been the appalling suffering of generations of children caused by the utter cruelty of those who committed child sexual exploitation”.  He went on to say “Countless children were sexually assaulted and raped.  They were deliberately humiliated and degraded.  They were shared and trafficked.  They were subjected to violence and their families were threatened.  They lived in fear and their lives were forever changed”.

The report found:-

  • More that 1,000 children had been abused in Telford
  • Obvious evidence of exploitation was ignored
  • Information was not properly shared between agencies
  • Key agencies dismissed exploitation as “child prostitution”
  • They also blamed children not perpetrators for exploitation
  • Exploitation was not investigated because of nervousness about race
  • Teachers and youth workers were discouraged from reporting exploitation
  • Offending continued for years without concerted response
  • Positive responses came from concerted individuals and not top-down directives
  • Even after a police operation, specialist child sexual exploitation teams were scaled down to “virtual zero” to save money.

The report also makes 47 recommendations to ensure that such large scale abuse and exploitation does not happen again and also recommends that the Council provide counselling for survivors.

West Mercia Police has apologised “unequivocally” for the past events as has Telford and Wrekin Council.

Our expert team at Verisona Law have specialist experience of dealing with neglect and abuse of vulnerable children are happy to talk to anyone about a potential claim.

Although sometimes a difficult subject to approach, our friendly team are here to support and advise you no matter the conversation. If you think you may have been affected by any of the issues raised in the report and would like to get in touch, you can fill out the form below or call us on  023 9244 6916  for a confidential conversation.