More than a thousand children in Telford, England, have been sexually exploited since 1989 due to the failure of police and local government to investigate the abusers, an independent investigation concluded on Tuesday.
The inquiry was launched after a 2018 Sunday Mirror investigation uncovered reports of sexual exploitation dating back to the 1980s. The inquiry has since confirmed these reports and found that the abuse may have continued because the children were blamed, not the perpetrators.
Teachers and carers were discouraged from reporting child sexual abuse, and police feared an investigation into some of the Asian men who committed the abuse would stoke racial tensions, the report said.
“Countless children have been sexually abused and raped. They were deliberately humiliated and degraded. They were shared and trafficked,” said Tom Crowther, the inquiry’s chairman.
“Victims and survivors repeatedly told the inquest how, as children, adult men worked hard to gain their trust before ruthlessly betraying that trust, treating them as sexual objects or commodities. .”
The local police have apologized for their failings and the local government has apologized to the survivors.
This is the latest in a series of horrific cases of sexual abuse in Britain. In 2014 another independent report revealed that up to 1,400 children in another English town had been sexually abused while the late TV presenter Jimmy Savile abused 500 children, with both cases occurring over decades.