LONDON (Reuters) – More than a thousand children in Telford, England were sexually exploited since 1989 because of the police and local government’s failure to investigate the offenders, an independent inquiry concluded on Tuesday.
The inquiry was launched after a 2018 Sunday Mirror investigation found sexual exploitation reports dating back to the 1980s. The inquiry has since confirmed these reports and found that the abuse was allowed to continue because the children were blamed, not the perpetrators.
Teachers and youth workers were discouraged from reporting child sexual abuse and police were nervous that investigating some of the Asian men who carried out the abuse would inflame racial tensions, the report found.
“Countless children were sexually assaulted and raped. They were deliberately humiliated and degraded. They were shared and trafficked,” said Tom Crowther, the inquiry chairman.
“Victims and survivors repeatedly told the inquiry how, when they were children, adult men worked to gain their trust before ruthlessly betraying that trust, treating them as sexual objects or commodities.”
The local police apologised for its failings and the local government apologised to the survivors.
This is the latest in a series of horrific cases of sexual abuse in Britain. In 2014, another independent report found as many as 1,400 children in another English town were sexually abused while the late television presenter Jimmy Savile was found to have abused 500 children, both cases occurring over decades.