Birmingham & Black Country

West Midlands child sexual exploitation 'similar to Rotherham'

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the West Midlands had "significant similarities" with patterns of abuse in Rotherham, a report said.

West Midlands Police's report said 210 young people had been identified as victims or at risk of CSE between January and June 2014.

It was put together last year, but has just been released following a freedom of information request.

Last month, a separate report said the figures could actually be much higher.

Led by Stephen Rimmer, a former Home Office director general, and commissioned by seven local authorities in Birmingham and the Black Country, as well as the police, it found up to 500 children could be at risk.

David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, said Mr Rimmer's report included more up-to-date figures on victims, although both reports acknowledged abuse was usually "hidden" and the true figure could be much higher.

West Midlands Police published its report after it received an FOI request from the Birmingham Mail.

Multiple abusers

The force has charted CSE victims and offenders over recent years and said there had been a "consistent profile" of both since 2010.

The report said victims were typically white women aged 13 to 16, with about a third living in care.

"There are significant similarities to the Rotherham victim/offender and location profiles," it states.

It also detailed that of those victims living at home, about 25% had lived in care at some point, while up to 60% had a case worker.

Many of the victims were transported across the West Midlands by organised gangs and abused by multiple men, the report found.

Meanwhile, it said suspects and offenders were "typically Asian, of Pakistani heritage and aged from 17 to 40".

However, online abusers are more likely to be white males, it said.

Mr Jamieson said police were working with communities across the area to tackle the problem, while local authorities in Birmingham and the Black Country were now taking a more coordinated approach.

"I totally agree that more could and should have been done in the past, there's no question of that, and that's true right across the country," he said.

Rotherham child sexual exploitation

An independent report into abuse in Rotherham estimated 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the town, between 1997 and 2013.

It found children were sometimes raped by multiple attackers and often trafficked to other towns in the area.

The majority of those behind the abuse were described as Asian, while the victims were young white girls.

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