BRUMMY NONCENSE

Hotels involved in child sexual exploitation could be shut down in new crackdown

Policy among a raft of Birmingham City Council initiatives to protect kids

Hotels could be closed down if bosses are considered to have ignored child sex abuse on their premises as part of a new crackdown in Birmingham.
Measures to be adopted by the city council would also see taxi drivers stripped of their licenses if they were thought to be involved in sexual exploitation.
The policy is part of the authority’s latest attempt to tackle the problem – exposed in a string of Birmingham Mail stories.
The council today revealed 83 children were known victims of sexual abuse and exploitation in Birmingham.
Another 49 were considered vulnerable to abuse.
But officials who published a report called “We Need to Get it Right” admitted they expected to uncover far more cases because of increased publicity around the issue.
Children’s services scrutiny committee chairman Coun Anita Ward (Lab, Hodge Hill) said: “For far too long child sexual exploitation was a hidden issue.
“But following the recent number of high-profile cases across the country, the problem has been exposed and we can no longer pretend it does not exist within society.”
Eighty of the 83 victims identified by the council were girls.
The report said: “Our evidence has shouted out that exploitation can happen to anybody irrespective of where you live or family circumstances.”
The report was a year in the making but was given added impetus following the Rotherham abuse scandal.
The Mail revealed last week that Birmingham City Council ‘buried’ a report linking Asian private hire drivers to child sexual exploitation victims 23 years ago.
And last month West Midlands Police was ordered to improve its child protection investigations after inspectors found a “general lack of understanding” from staff.
A total of nine men were also told to stay away from a vulnerable 17-year-old girl in the council’s care at the High Court.
The authority’s children and family services boss, Coun Brigid Jones, said: “This report is timely and hugely important in shaping the city’s response to safeguarding young people from this appalling crime, and in tackling the people who destroy young lives.”

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