Glasgow & West Scotland

Almost 100 Glasgow children at risk of sexual exploitation

Boy burying head in knees Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The report said that secure care had been used to protect some young people from "significant harm"

A total of 97 children in Glasgow have been identified as being victims of or at risk of sexual exploitation.

The findings come in a council report examining the implications for Glasgow of the inquiry following the child sex abuse scandal in Rotherham.

The inquiry estimated that 1,400 children in Rotherham were sexually exploited between 1997 and 2013.

Glasgow City Council has been involved in two police-led operations into child sexual exploitation in three years.

One of the operations is still live.

The report states: "It is difficult to accurately estimate the number of young people subject to child sexual exploitation in Glasgow although the current operation with the police identified 97 children and young people who potentially were victims of/or at risk of child sexual exploitation.

"Of this group, the current police operation focused on 39, with a number of those screened out, already known to services and supported.

"The screening was for the purpose of the investigation, and all of the young people's circumstances explored on a multi-agency basis."

'Significant harm'

The development of an action plan to address child sexual exploitation in Glasgow has been agreed. It will focus on four areas: awareness-raising; investigation; interventions; and process and procedures.

The report said that secure care had been used to protect some young people from "significant harm" but recognised that this was a "holding situation" rather than a permanent solution.

The report will go to the Children and Families Policy Development Committee on Thursday.

'Robust response'

A Glasgow City Council spokesperson said: "As the committee report indicates, there have been a number of instances of child sexual exploitation in Glasgow.

"Our child protection staff are very aware of the issues surrounding child exploitation and have a strong understanding of the indicators that point towards a child being abused.

"The council's child protection team works closely with the police and other partners through the child protection committee to respond to any allegations of young people being exploited for sexual purposes.

"The child protection team's primary focus is to protect the child while police work to bring offenders to justice.

"Partners within the child protection committee structure do work closely together and information is regularly and routinely shared to ensure a robust response for those at risk of harm of sexual exploitation."

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