A police chaplain and a charity worker were forced out of their jobs and silenced after trying to raise the alarm about the grooming and rape gangs operating in the town of Telford.
Around 1,000 victims were caught up in the scandal, which could be the worst in UK history, with the gangs operating for 40 years, drugging, beating, trafficking, and raping non-Muslim girls, some as young as 11.
Three girls were murdered and two others died following incidents linked to the abuse. Others were left addicted to drugs and scarred for life.
Many of the underage victims were considered as prostitutes by the authorities, and when concerned citizens attempted to blow the whistle, they were targeted in the workplace and one even lost her job.
A woman working for the sex abuse charity Axis Counselling, based in Shrewsbury, was forced to leave her role after she tried to speak out. The charity was funded by the police, The Mirror reports, and allegedly feared losing money.
Keith Osmund-Smith, a police chaplain, was suspended after he passed papers to the newspaper and a report commissioned by the council revealed social workers knew of the sex crimes in 2000 and earlier.
A government report into the Rotherham grooming scandal found that political correctness, a “culture of fear” and intimidation, and concerns about accusations of racism allowed the mainly Muslim gangs to get away with their crimes for so long.
Rochdale, Peterborough, Oxford, Rotherham, Newcastle, Newham, Telford & many, many more. Thousands of victims. Where is the Government support to help them rebuild their lives after we let them down? Please, let’s learn & prevent this
— Sarah Champion (@SarahChampionMP) March 11, 2018
West Mercia Police is working with partners to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation so that the signs can be recognised and tackled earlier. For more info visit https://t.co/Fm8dNA6ci3 #tellsomeone
— West Mercia Police (@WMerciaPolice) March 12, 2018
Following the Telford reports, UKIP announced it will be pressuring the government to act on grooming gangs and protect the “tens of thousands of innocent child victims, almost entirely white or Sikh, in cities across the length and breadth of these islands”.
“Following the revelations of 40 years of child abuse carried out by rape gangs in Telford,” the party said in a statement Monday, “the leader of UKIP in the House of Lords [Lord Pearson] will present an oral question to the Government on Tuesday 13th March about the failures of the authorities to deal with the situation.”
Gerard Batten MEP, UKIP’s Interim leader, commented: “These horror stories out of Telford are further evidence that these rape gangs are not a local, but a national problem, with new examples being constantly uncovered.
“There is a refusal on the part of the authorities to recognize that this is a consequence of Islamic ideology and to face the ghastly truths.”
The Mirror spoke to 12 victims during their investigation, who accused more than 70 men of grooming in Telford. One 14-year-old said she had fallen pregnant twice and had two abortions while being groomed and abused.
“Hours after my second termination, I was taken by one of my abusers to be raped by more men”, she said.
“Night after night, I was forced to have sex with multiple men in disgusting takeaways and filthy houses. I must have been getting the morning after pill from a local clinic at least twice a week but no one asked any questions.
“I was told that if I said a word to anyone they’d come for my little sisters and tell my mum I was a prostitute.”
Another victim, Lucy Lowe, 16, was killed alongside her mother and sister after her abuser, 26-year-old Azhar Ali Mehmood, set fire to their house.
The taxi-driver began targeted the young girls in 1997 and she gave birth to his child when she was just 14. Mr. Mehmood was jailed for murder but was never arrested or charged with any child sex abuse crimes.
According to The Mirror, the killings were used to threaten other victims and pressure them to keep quiet.