Birmingham & Black Country

Two Birmingham men are banned from 'approaching' girls

Two men have been ordered to keep away from young girls after a council became the first to use civil injunctions to block child sexual exploitation.

A High Court judge granted the long-term orders, which ban the pair from approaching girls under the age of 18.

It comes after Birmingham City Council social workers and West Midlands Police raised concerns about a vulnerable 17-year-old girl.

The men, aged 27 and 31, were found with the teenager in a car last month.

Birmingham City Council has also launched civil court proceedings against a number of other men with the aim of protecting youngsters who may not understand what was happening to them.

Lawyers said there was not enough evidence to secure criminal convictions against them "at the current time".

'Innovative legal step'

Mr Justice Keehan QC is due to analyse further evidence with regards the two men and several others at a hearing in London on Wednesday.

The two men were arrested in October after officers spotted the girl leaving their car at about 03:00 GMT.

When the men realised officers were following them, they sped off and went through a red light, the court heard.

When the Nissan Micra was eventually stopped, a half empty bottle of vodka was found in the car and the girl's phone number was found on one of the men's mobiles.

The men claimed they had never previously met the teenager.

Lorna Meyer QC, representing Birmingham City Council, said the council and police had identified a "number of individuals" found to be "inappropriately" in the company of the 17-year-old girl.

"Birmingham City Council have taken this innovative legal step with the support of West Midlands Police to help remedy that situation and to protect vulnerable persons where there are frightened or lack understanding of what is happening to them," she said.

The children's charity the NSPCC has backed the move.

"We absolutely support this move as its ultimate aim is to protect young girls who are potential sexual abuse victims," said Jon Brown, head of the NSPCC's programmes tackling sexual abuse.

"This is a serious child protection issue as several recent grooming cases have graphically shown and the authorities must use every weapon in their armoury to stamp it out."

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