help me get a public enquiry into CSE & Grooming in Keighley & Bradford
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I'm Angela Sinfield. Fifteen years ago, my daughter were groomed and sexually exploited in Keighley, West Yorkshire. We told agencies of the most serious crimes against children and we were told that there was nothing anyone could do.
We didn't have to go through that and neither did any other family
I want a public inquiry into why agencies in Bradford failed my family and my community.
I want a public inquiry into what the Home Office knew about evidence of child sex trafficking networks stretching across the UK and what they did about that.
I want a public inquiry into the true scale and extent of children - like my daughter - who were groomed and trafficked for sex in the UK over the past twenty years.
My daughter were trafficked around the country by men involved in organised crime. If we seriously want to tackle this problem, then we need to sort the drugs in our community. It's drugs that are the backbone of this type of crime in any community. I havn't seen anything anywhere where anyone is prepared to admit that. It's a deeper issue and for us , the families, the fact that our children have been drugged, and raped is unimaginable. If you're rendered unconcious with you dont know what is about to happen. How can a child give a statement when she dont know where she was taken or who raped her? It's time there is a holistic approach which looks at what is really happening in our communities. No-one is prepared to talk about the links between drug crime and sexual exploitation of children. Deal with one problem, then you'll crack the other.
Thats what is behind grooming gangs. Drugs and money.
Like Rotherham, Keighley is a former industrial town that's seen better days. Like Rotherham, Keighley became known as a grooming hotspot.
Whilst grooming is seen as a race crime, the most vulnerable children are ignored. This is happening to children from every section of our community and I'm not standing for the problem being exploited by the far right. My grandkids are Asian and muslim.Being racist is'nt helping the problem.
Fifteen years ago, gatekeepers in the Asian community told me that this was happening to their girls too but no-one wants to talk about that either.
Fifteen years ago, I led a group of mums in a campaign to stop child sex exploitation in Keighley.
This abuse destroyed my family and many others . It's divided our community.
And it could, and should have been stopped years ago if the Home Office had acted on reports which evidenced that children were groomed for sex across the UK.
For over 20 years, nearly everyone in Keighley knew children have been groomed for sex by gangs who trafficked them and drugs around the UK. If you speak to people in the street, they've all got their own stories and are sickened by what is being allowed to happen.
Just like Rotherham, the people who were paid to protect Keighley children have not been held accountable.
The men and women responsible for the abuse of generations of children in Keighley escaped justice.
In 2003, I helped to change the law to make it harder for the grooming gangs but for years prosecutions were few and far between.
You could say these men got away with murder.
In 2006 I became a Labour councillor but was'nt allowed to speak on grooming.
It's been covered up for years as either too difficult to do, or with accusations of racism. I was told it wasn't the right time. Somehow, it was never the right time.
I wanted an exit strategy and a safe house for these children.
Now we need an inquiry to look at why evidence of this appalling abuse was ignored and suppressed in Bradford.
Unlike any other town, no-one can say they did'nt know about grooming in Keighley.
I went to Westminster. I met with MP's and the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett. But no-one paid any attention when I said that this was organised crime. I met mums from all over the country and we realised that our children were being abused by the same people in different parts of the country including Rotherham.
I made television programmes and miles of column inches were written about what I and a group of mums were doing in Keighley to stop the grooming.
When news of the scale and extent of child sex exploitation emerged from Rotherham, I waited for the spotlight to shine upon Keighley and for the questions to start.
After 18 months, I've gathered evidence of shameful and appalling failings which must be the subject of a public inquiry. The officers and agencies that failed my family and this community and allowed hundreds if not thousands of children to be abused year in year out between 1995 - 2016 should be held to account just as in Rotherham.
Its time that the Home Office and Bradford Council answered questions as to why warnings from Keighley and Rotherham were never acted upon.
If they had, it's obvious that victims across the UK would have been protected.
But instead councillors and MP's were misled and tricked into believing that grooming was an isolated problem which was being dealt with. It was'nt.
Why did Westminster fail our children?
The world was shocked by the 1400 victims in Rotherham.
The media asked if there were other towns similarly affected. What if there are more? I say that there is and we need to know how many.
What help and support is available to families like mine to overcome this appalling abuse ? My family isn't getting what we need. We didn't then and we arn't now.
It's over 15 years since my daughter was exploited but we are still paying the price.
I told the Home Secretary David Blunkett about the problem of children being groomed and trafficked for sexual exploitation. I told my MP, and so did other families.
What I want to know is what the Home Office did between 2000 - 2010 to help Bradford and Rotherham and every other town in the UK where children were being exploited to stop this abuse.
The government has now given sexual exploitation the status of a national threat but I've had to wait years for services to help me and my family.
We need to stop children being sexually exploited. I walk around Keighley and I still see the tell tale signs.
The problem hasn't gone away, if anything it's worse.
We need services to support victims and their families throughout the long process of recovery.
What those men did to my daughter, they did to me.
It's been 15 years, and my family and community is still broken and divided by this abuse. Like many people in Keighley and Rotherham, I'm not standing by whilst another generation is abused.
If we continue to cover up past failings, how can our government and council's make any promises that things have changed?
How can we protect future generations of children from sexual exploitation unless there is transparency on what and who failed us in the past?
Please sign my petition to ensure that the Home Office instruct a public inquiry into child sex exploitation in Bradford between 1995 - 2016.
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