Telford’s MP, Lucy Allan, has confirmed that an independent inquiry into alleged child sexual abuse in the town, will be held, after calls from Allan and other politicians to establish an investigation. The abuse, which took place during the 1980’s up to the present day, may have led to as many as 1,000 children being groomed and sexually exploited.
The investigation is likely to be paid for by affected local authorities in the area, after the Home Office declined to fund the inquiry.
It’s not yet clear what form the inquiry will take, though it could be similar in style to Rotherham’s pioneering child abuse investigation produced by Professor Alexis Jay, the current chair of the nation’s independent inquiry into child sexual abuse. Miss Allan is keen to use Rotherham’s model as a jumping off point for Telford’s own investigation:
“All parties are now agreed that an inquiry is necessary and this can now go ahead… While it would be expected that such an inquiry will take the form of a ‘Rotherham style’ inquiry, as this is a tried and tested model, there may well be alternative models that would work just as well… What really matters is that an independent inquiry is going to take place. This is vital for the victims, their families and our community. It will enable us to find out why this happened.”
Telford’s MP says that since the abuse hit the headlines, she has been inundated with calls from victims. The scale of abuse in the town has led to the media calling it Britain’s worst ever child grooming scandal.