Police have revealed shocking details about one of the ‘worst ever’ sex gangs in Telford, where children were taken to a derelict house to be abused by men, who were shuttled out by mini bus.
Three officers who were working on the case have spoken out about how all the victims involved were failed.
According to the Sunday Mirror, one officer said police were overwhelmed by the scale of the scandal, as well as being ‘frustrated’ because so few of the predators – predominantly from the town’s Pakistani Muslim community – were jailed.
The officer said:
At one point we had 70 cases and one victim had close to 100 offenders.
In one case women were taken to a derelict building near Birmingham and men were being shuttled out in mini bus runs to abuse them.
Many officers were frustrated because the CPS was treating the cases as separate when we knew they were linked.
If we could have got four or five of the girls with the strongest cases and asked them to identify the worst offenders I believe more men could have ended up in jail.
My thoughts on the child rape scandal that is Telford. This is my town. Labour and the Police I believe have turned a blind eye etc. pic.twitter.com/r7MTCxARQm
— Hope Pink (@hopepinkboots) March 11, 2018
Meanwhile, the mother of a girl who was abused, but has now sadly died, said she gave police a three-page list of suspects, but said nothing was ever done.
The same girl, along with another 13-year-old, were reportedly in a car driven by abusers which was stopped by police, however, they were allowed to go.
Officers came forward after Superintendent Tom Harding, of West Mercia Police, said he ‘significantly disputed’ the probe and claimed an estimate of 1,000 victims was ‘sensationalised’.
The systematic, ritual abuse of children in Telford dwarfs the horrors uncovered in Rotherham – time to stop the left pandering to the abusers and falling over themselves to cover-up this scandal. If we can’t fight for our children what kind of people are we ?
— Phil Arnold (@PhilArnold4) March 11, 2018
One of the police whistleblowers said of the feared 1,000 toll:
I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility at all. I wouldn’t be surprised. It was the tip of the iceberg.
Today, March 18, Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans denied the court orders were discounted because of the level of work required.
Going public showed their concern over the true scale of the problem and the police response, with one officer saying:
There were lots of people that were suspected of abuse but not put before the courts. Two senior officers had a conversation about going for Sexual Risk Orders.
It would have meant they would be monitored by the police. It can be effective with a low reoffending rate.
The question was, should we apply for 20 or 25 of these orders? The view from the senior officer was it was too much trouble. A lot of us were horrified when they didn’t want to do that.
It would have been a lot of work but what price do we put on protecting these kids?
The case in Telford has been compared to other high profile cases seen in Rochdale and Rotherham:
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Court orders were considered for suspects identified by cops as part of Operation Chalice – which saw just seven men jailed back in 2012.
A third officer said:
The orders were discussed at a senior level with lawyers and the CPS. We were anticipating a number of people would go on those orders. It didn’t take place.
Today, March 18, West Mercia’s Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans said:
These civil orders were seriously considered and the decision not to pursue them was for a number of reasons.
These included the fact that there would have been a requirement for victims to give evidence in court, furthering their ordeal.
Other measures were put in place to make sure those considered a potential threat were closely monitored and reviewed and this continues to be the case.
Yet one victim said:
I was never told about these orders or asked if I would give evidence in court against my abusers. If I had been asked, I would have done.
These latest revelations have come as the mother of 13-year-old Becky Watson, told how she gave police a list of more than 10 abusers months before her daughter died in a car accident described as a ‘prank’ gone wrong.
Becky’s mother says she repeatedly told police and social workers about her fears for Becky:
I am so angry. They all knew something was going on but they wouldn’t investigate. When I rang social services, they weren’t interested.
It's time for an independent public enquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Telford.
I don't share petitions, this one I will make an exception for.https://t.co/8mMtikIdaT
— Telford Live! (@telfordlive) March 11, 2018
A friend of Becky’s reportedly said the pair were in a car with two men just a few weeks before Becky’s death.
She revealed they were being taken to a notorious spot where many victims have come forward to say they were abused there.
The girl said:
Police pulled us over. I gave my real name and date of birth but Becky gave the details of her 18-year-old sister. It was obvious she was not 18 but they just let us go.
Becky is among five people linked to abusers who have died.
16-year-old Lucy Lowe, who had been made pregnant at 14, was killed in a house fire in 2000, along with her mother and sister.
In 2009, Becky’s friend, 20-year-old Vicky Round, died of a drugs overdose after her abusers got her hooked on the illegal substances.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111.
A sports enthusiast with a BA (Hons) in Sports Journalism, who can be found predominantly at Villa Park. Having completed a Masters in Broadcast Journalism, she then went on to work at Sky Sports, the BBC, and the Mirror. When not engrossed in sport, it’s animals, guitars, and Liam Gallagher which take main focus.