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Survivors will work with council to deliver Telford CSE inquiry report recommendations

Earlier this week, the Independent Inquiry into Telford Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) delivered its final report, identifying more than 1,000 victims. Two survivors and campaigners will now join Telford and Wrekin Council in ensuring its recommendations are implemented.

14/07/22

Survivors will work with council to deliver Telford CSE inquiry report recommendations

Survivors and campaigners Holly Archer and Scarlett Jones will play a ‘major role’ in ensuring the recommendations of the landmark inquiry into historic CSE in Telford will be implemented.

Over 1,000 children were exploited over a period of more than 30 years, with the report finding abusers were “emboldened” by failure of authorities.

The report looked at 1.3 million pages of information provided by public agencies such as social services departments over a three-year inquiry – and in a familiar story found evidence of poor information sharing between the police and social work departments. Survivors, giving evidence to the inquiry, said they looked for help from authorities but were left frightened when they were told the police could not help them, despite “obvious” warning signs.

“It is clear to me that, as a result of individual professionals forcing the issue over many years, and refusing to ignore what were, perhaps now, obvious warning signs, the issue was finally sympathetically addressed by the youth workers who became the Council’s Children Abused Through Exploitation (“CATE”) Team,” the report said.

In what has been described as an “unprecedented move and something that hasn’t happened before with British Inquiries into child sexual exploitation,” two survivors who helped contribute to the Inquiry will play a major role in developing the action plan and ensuring victims and survivors voices are heard.

“We are glad the council has been proactive in ensuring survivor involvement in the steps they take now the Inquiry has concluded. We played a part throughout the whole of the Inquiry process and it means a lot to us to see it through and make sure the recommendations are survivor focused,” Holly and Scarlett said in a joint statement.

“The value of having survivor voices at the heart of the whole process is more than important, it’s crucial. We want to let the community know that we will do all we can to make sure all of the recommendations are implemented and so they work in practise.”

Telford and Wrekin Council said it was “deeply sorry for the pain and suffering that has been caused” and announced the developments as part of the council’s efforts to make sure all recommendations are implemented.

“I will be shortly speaking to the Conservative leader Cllr Andrew Eade and Liberal Democratic leader Bill Tomlinson and the Police Crime Commissioner John Campion about how we can work together to take these recommendations forward,” Councillor Shaun Davies said in a statement.

“The report has found areas where more could have been done over the last three decades to support victims and survivors and their families.

“Even though the Inquiry acknowledges we have made significant and transformational improvements since 2016, and the inquiry specifically states that services today are good, we fully accept and will act on all of the Inquiry’s recommendations in full.”

Councillor Davies said that he was concerned reading in the report that the Children Abused Through Exploitation (CATE) team, the team of dedicated professionals who are at the forefront of the response to tackling child sexual exploitation and were commended throughout by the Inquiry, was not properly funded.

“The report proposes that we make sure that the team is properly funded for the next five years. I make a personal commitment that for as long as we are running the council, that funding will be protected, not just for the next five years but beyond.”

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