Shropshire

Hundreds trained to spot Telford child sexual exploitation

Telford Image copyright Gavin Dickson
Image caption Police said hotel workers along with refuse collectors and taxi drivers were being trained to spot signs of CSE

Hundreds of hotel workers have been trained to spot signs of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in a town at the centre of an inquiry into the extent of abuse.

The training comes after claims that up to 1,000 girls in Telford may have been victims of CSE since the 1980s.

West Mercia Police said 302 staff at "major hotels" have been advised.

It said the operation had "spread to the wider night time economy and licensed premises".

In its latest force management statement, West Mercia said the training focussed on "vulnerability".

Refuse collectors and taxi drivers have also received the training, as well as on how to spot and report modern day slavery and drug use, police revealed earlier this year.

It follows an investigation by the Sunday Mirror which led Labour-run Telford and Wrekin Council to launch an independent inquiry into the claims.

The authority said in July it was looking for an independent commissioner to run the investigation.

Previously, police Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans said that since 2016 the force's CSE team in Telford had arrested 56 people, resulting in 29 charges, with a number of these investigations still ongoing.

In March, Supt Tom Harding, who is in overall charge of policing in Telford, said police and authorities in the town were working with "approximately 46 young people" who were victims of CSE or considered "at risk".

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