Leeds & West Yorkshire

Keighley abuse: Agency interventions 'ineffective', review finds

Keighley
Image caption The girl, identified only as 'Autumn' in the serious case review, was abused over 13 months from 2011 to 2012 in Keighley

A girl who reported being raped in 2011 was abused for a further year with agency interventions "ineffective", a serious case review has found.

A group of men exercised "total control" over the girl in Keighley with information identifying her as being at risk from harm "not acted on".

The review followed the sentencing of 12 men who abused the girl over 13 months in the West Yorkshire town.

Bradford Safeguarding Children Board said "so much had changed" since 2011.

The trial, which concluded in February, heard the girl had been reported missing from home on more than 70 occasions over a two-year period.

From the age of 13, she was made to have sex in various locations in Keighley, including an underground car park and a church graveyard.

Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Twelve men, (top row left to right) Yasser Kabir, Faisal Khan, Israr Ali, Sufyan Ziarab, (second row) Tauqeer Hussain, Khalid Raja Mahmood, Saqib Younis, Hussain Sardar, (bottom row) Bilal Ziarab, Nasir Khan, Mohammed Akram and Zain Ali were all sentenced at Bradford Crown Court in February

The independent serious case review, published by Bradford Safeguarding Children Board, was carried out to look at how to prevent similar incidents happening in the future.

The review said the girl, identified only as Autumn, lived close to two gangs who both "groomed and abused" her.

It said there was a view within the police at that time that "troublesome teenagers going missing were diverting attention from other strategic priorities".

The review added: "There was also a broader belief that children involved in this kind of harm were actively consenting and choosing to become involved."

'CSE hub set up'

Records identifying her has a child at risk of harm "were not fully shared" across various agencies, resulting in Autumn becoming "disillusioned" about help she was receiving.

As a result of the case, the review said a multi-agency child sexual exploitation hub had been set up in Bradford to bring together police, social care, health and voluntary sector information.

David Niven, independent chair of Bradford Safeguarding Children Board, said: "So much since then [2011] has changed in awareness, learning and education when it comes to the sexual exploitation of children.

"The Board will continue to work with all agencies involved in combating child exploitation, always encouraging improvement and holding them to account when appropriate."

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