According to the official figures, it is being estimated that nearly 19,000 minors in England were sexually groomed in England in the last year, reports Dailymail.
Reportedly, the local authorities in England have identified around 18,700 suspected victims in 2018-19, up from 3,300 five years ago. The latest figures showed a sharp increase in the number of child grooming victims over the last five years.
The highest rates of child grooming victims in Britain was reported in areas including Birmingham, Lancashire and Bradford. A spokesman for the Home Office said the department ‘is committed to tackling child sexual abuse and will leave no stone unturned in tackling this abhorrent behaviour’.
Speaking to the media, Sarah Champion, the Labour MP for Rotherham, which has been targeted by child grooming gangs, said that figures show this type of exploitation ‘remains one of the largest forms of child abuse in the country’.
She added, “Too many times, Government has said it will ‘learn lessons’, yet 19,000 children are still at risk of sexual exploitation.”
The figures released by the Department for Education showed that Lancashire recorded more than 600 children who were victims of grooming. It was followed by Birmingham, Surrey, Bradford and Gloucestershire.
Reportedly, earlier this month four men from Telford in the West Midlands were jailed for abusing a young girl who was sold for sex and raped. The offences took place between 2001 and 2002 and started when the girl who was then just 13 years old. The victim had told in the court that she was assaulted by other unidentified males, which continued till she reached her mid-teens.
Further, the Home Office spokesman added that the department launched an independent inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse ‘to get to the truth, expose what has gone wrong and learn lessons for the future’. The spokesperson added that the inquiry will be independent of government and within its terms of reference, decides for itself what it investigates.