Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Telford police: Child sexual exploitation remains their "number one priority"

Telford police: Child sexual exploitation remains their

The investigation linked three murders and two other deaths to the epidemic going as far back as the 1980s in a city of a mere 170,000 residents.

Out of 12 - mostly unconnected - victims who spoke to investigators from the Mirror, more than 70 abusers were accused.

Based on the evidence, professor Liz Kelly, from the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit at London Metropolitan University, estimated 1,000 children fell victim to the pedophiles in Telford alone.

In 2016-17 the local authority received 337 contacts raising concerns about child sexual exploitation relating to 224 young people, more than half of whom were referred to child protection teams.

Years later, a police investigation identified more than 100 potential victims, who were abused between 2007 and 2009, in an investigation called 'Operation Chalice.' Police said there could be as many as 200 perpetrators. The abuse began when she was only 11 years old.

The Sunday Mirror claimed it had diaries that revealed her torment at being made to sleep around, while her mother, Torron, told the newspaper her daughter had been abused since the age of 11 but that police failed to properly investigate.

Mehmood was jailed for the triple murder, but was never arrested or charged in connection with any child sex crimes over his sexual relationship with the underage girl, who became the mother of his child.

Lucy's uncle, Ed Lowe, says her murder should have alerted authorities to the town's scandal - thought to be one of the worst of its kind in modern Britain.

Two years later, 13-year-old Becky Watson died in a vehicle accident. At the time, it was described as a prank gone wrong.

"She had kept a tragic dairy which told of how she was forced to sleep around", and how the police treated her as the criminal.

Telford's Conservative MP Lucy Allan has demanded a public inquiry and said the findings were "extremely serious and shocking", the Mirror reported. "I was crying out for help but it felt like I had nowhere to turn".

Becky had a friend who was abused by the same gang. "This was one of the first national complex critical investigations into grooming offences", Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans said in a statement. He denied knowing anything about childhood sexual abuse in the Telford area when approached by the Mail last night, and categorically denied any involvement in such activity himself.

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