Sexual exploitation victim 'trafficked to more than 200 men'

Anonymous victim
Image caption An anonymous victim said she was taken to locations across Shropshire and the West Midlands

A woman says she was trafficked to more than 200 men for sex from the age of 14.

The victim from Shropshire, who wanted to remain anonymous, told BBC WM most attacks happened in Stratford Road and Ladypool Road in Birmingham.

Police said no prosecutions were brought in that case and that the woman now wanted to help other victims.

West Midlands Police said it was training 1,200 frontline staff to tackle exploitation.

'Person after person'

Det Insp Tom Chisolm said the work involved raising awareness and working with charities and other partners who were also their "eyes and ears".

Earlier this week a Birmingham City Council report said at least 132 children in the city were suffering from or were vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

The anonymous victim said she was taken to locations across Shropshire and the West Midlands.

She said she met the traffickers through a group of younger men who would take her to cafes to meet customers and discuss payments.

She said the men who abused here were generally older - the oldest was in his 80s - and that if she did not comply with the traffickers' demands, she was beaten with a metal bar or belt.

She was once taken to a flat above a takeaway with a friend and men were lining up to choose one of them, she said.

"It was like a revolving door. Person after person after person," she said.

'Hidden crime'

West Mercia Police, which investigated the woman's allegations, said in a statement: "As much as we would like to see the offenders charged and prosecuted for their horrendous crimes, the victim in this case has chosen not to pursue any prosecutions to date.

"We take all complaints of sexual exploitation with the utmost seriousness and this case was no exception. We respect her decisions and continue to support her."

A spokesman said she had been in touch to offer her help in working with child sexual exploitation victims and that the force were looking at how to facilitate that.

Det Insp Chisolm said trafficking was a "hidden crime" and it was sometimes difficult for victims to come forward to police.

"It might be fear from those that are abusing them; it might be a mistrust of the police," he said.

West Mercia Police is now forming a dedicated unit to be based in Telford, Worcester and Leamington Spa to tackle child sexual exploitation across Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

In 2012, seven men in Telford were jailed on charges including rape, trafficking and prostitution, sometimes involving girls as young as 13, between 2007 and 2009.

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