Telford grooming scandal: 'Abuse is still happening'

The sheer scale of the child grooming problem in Telford is absolutely unimaginable. Five of the first seven people we spoke to were either victims or related to victims. It’s an epidemic.

Telford could be the scene of Britain’s largest ever child grooming scandal, with some 1,000 girls believed to have been abused during a 40-year period. But everyone we spoke to thinks there are more than 1,000 girls who’ve suffered and, worst of all, they all think it’s still happening today.

We spoke to a woman, now homeless, who told us she was raped by one of the grooming gang when she was just 14-years-old – he was given a sentence of more than two decades…but he’s already been released.

The woman, who we’re calling Sophie, told how the grooming gang operated.

She said: “I was homeless in a bed and breakfast. I wanted to go out so I went out for a drink and the next thing I know it was 12 o’clock so I was locked out of where I was staying. I was going to go to my mum’s but they [grooming gang] said we should go with them.

“It was supposed to be a hotel just for me and my friend, nobody else. Next thing I can remember is waking up with my trousers and underwear round my ankles. That’s all I can remember in the hotel room. My friend’s gone, they’ve gone.

“My friend actually made out that they wouldn’t do something like that, they weren’t like that. But then a few weeks later they did it to her.”

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On the number of victims, Sophie said: “There’s probably more than 1,000. It wasn’t until 2 to 3 years later when police come back with Operation Chalice and they thought I could be one of the girls and I gave evidence in court.

“It’s messed my life up I’ve got multiple personality disorder because of it.”

But there’s an all to familiar story here, isn’t there? Why did it take the police force so long to act in the first place, how many girls had to suffer in the mean time? And then there are these Mickey Mouse prison sentences. What message does it send out to these sex fiends if they can literally run a child sex ring involving potentially hundreds of young girls and then they’re barely even punished for it.

Sophie said: “I was raped by one of the ringleaders. He’s out now. And it’s like he didn’t even serve half his sentence. I’m disgusted. It’s my life they’ve ruined and they haven’t been punished at all.

“It needs speaking about. These people need longer sentences, they need punishing a lot more. Police need to look into it more because with me they didn’t look into it at all.”

Worst of all? “It’s still happening,” Sophie says.

Sophie was just one of many people we spoke to yesterday who have suffered at the hands of this grooming gang, who, according to their victims and the people we spoke to, are almost all of Pakistani descent.

When we add up the total number of victims from these grooming gangs in places like Rochdale, Rotherham, Derby, Newcastle, Oxford and Telford, it comes to roughly 3,000. If 3,000 girls all died from the same disease, the government and emergency services would tackle it head on. So why don’t they when it comes to (mostly) Pakistani and South Asian grooming gangs?

Tune into Westmonster Uncensored at 13.00 today to find out more about what’s going on in Telford.