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Child Sex Crimes Soar by 30 Per Cent in Sadiq Khan’s London as Public Anger Over Grooming Gangs Grows

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ISABEL INFANTES/AFP/Getty Images

The number of sexual offences committed against children in Sadiq Khan’s London has soared to 1,200 in the last year, new figures show.

Statistics show the number of child sexual exploitation cases in 2017 had risen by 30 per cent on the previous year, the Evening Standard reports.

The figures were released on Friday, when the Metropolitan Police co-hosted a conference to raise awareness of the problem with children’s charity Barnardo’s, which has launched a pilot scheme to help child victims of rape and sexual exploitation.

“Children who have been sexually exploited can feel completely powerless, and being raped or sexually assaulted often causes debilitating levels of trauma,” said Jessica Juon, assistant director of children’s services at Barnardo’s London, explaining it is important to help victims feel safe.

Detective Superintendent Steve Ellen said the Met has been trying to improve how it records and recognises child sexual exploitation offences, but acknowledged that the figures could point to a rise in the number of crimes.

He said: “Child sexual exploitation is a real priority for us and we are getting better at looking for it and dealing with it and we are encouraging people to come forward.”

The Metropolitan Police claimed it had seen no evidence London was facing similar scandals to towns like Telford and Rotherham, where ‘politically correct’ police and authorities failed to act as hundreds of girls were raped, beaten and trafficked.

However, officers in London acknowledged they were “tackling child sexual exploitation linked to gangs and other issues such as County Lines drug dealing”, according to the Standard, which recalled police identifying a grooming gang targeting girls “as young at 13”, operating around a McDonald’s restaurant in Stratford last year.

Indeed, Scotland Yard was worse at safeguarding children at risk of child sexual exploitation and rape than it was 12 months earlier, according to a report published in November.

Described by sources at Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services as the “most damning review” in the watchdog’s history, it revealed that Britain’s biggest police force failed to properly handle 90 per cent of child protection cases.

Challenged over the concerning report, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick claimed the issue of grooming gangs was hundreds of years of years old, and suggested the apparent increase in offences could be a result of “raised awareness”.

“I don’t think this was a phenomenon invented in the last few years – it really wasn’t – it has been part of our society for probably centuries and centuries and centuries,” she claimed.

Despite research showing that 84 per cent of CSE offenders are ‘Asian’ while the vast majority of victims are white, the Commissioner also appeared to reject the notion of any cultural or racial aspect to grooming gangs.

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