LATEST police figures show that the number of suspected crimes involving Child Sexual Exploitation in Bradford are down from a year ago, although the figures have still been described as “disturbing”.


The new figures show that 179 crimes involving CSE are currently being investigated across the district. The statistics, released by West Yorkshire Police, show these crimes involve 165 suspects.

They compare with 220 child sexual exploitation crimes and 261 suspects under investigation in Bradford exactly one year ago.

Michael Jameson, strategic director of Children’s Services at Bradford Council, said: “Child sexual exploitation is a horrendous crime and we work with police and other organisations to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“This is particularly supported by our multi-agency CSE Hub, which has been operating since 2012.

“This is where representatives of West Yorkshire Police, Council, Barnardo’s and other organisations work together, investigating current and historical cases of CSE.

“Victims are now more confident about coming forward to report abuse and seek help. The CSE Hub’s specialist team provides them with a supportive environment.

“Anyone who suspects CSE has taken or is taking place can report it at any time by contacting the police. Bradford Safeguarding Children’s Board website has further details of how to report and where to access support.”

Responding to the figures, Keighley woman Angela Sinfield, who has long campaigned for more to be done to tackle CSE, said: “Whatever number it is, it’s still too high.”

She said unless there was a major change in the law relating to consent for sexual acts and child sex abuse she and other campaigners would find themselves fighting the same battles in ten years’ time.

“If someone is rendering a child unconscious with drugs and alcohol how can that child be giving consent?” she said.

“One of the biggest problems is that these children don’t see themselves as victims. They’ll say these men are their ‘boyfriends’, even when they are much older, married men who definitely aren’t ‘boyfriends’.”

Councillor Val Slater, portfolio holder for health and wellbeing on Bradford Council, said people should be confident that any reports of CSE would be dealt with, adding: “Dealing with CSE remains a very high priority for us. No level of abuse against a child or young person is acceptable.

“It is something we are still putting a lot of resources into. It is protected funding, despite our very difficult budget.

“Despite the drop in number, it does disturb me that there are still this number of people abusing children, and I’m afraid that as a society that will be something we may continue to struggle with.”