Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is an issue that has greatly affected our town. I am proud to have been able to work with victims and survivors to get their voice heard in Parliament and to have joined survivors in successfully campaigning for an inquiry. This website shows only publicly recorded actions and events - and of whilst the public record is great evidence of the work I have done in this area, a lot of work has also gone on behind the scenes.
I have met with many victims and survivors, worked to secure legal representation for families, worked with the police and probation services locally to ensure new victims coming forward were properly heard, and also with the local Council to get the inquiry off the ground. I am meeting the newly appointed Chairman of the inquiry in Parliament next week. I have worked cross-party with MPs whose constituencies have been affected by this issue.
I have campaigned to change the law relating to early release of serious sexual offenders by highlighting the case of the Mubarek Ali and have worked with the media on articles, interviews and documentaries to keep shining the light on an issue that had been too long swept under the carpet.
Since my election, I have consistently put victims front and centre of my work in Parliament. It was through my lobbying that I secured an Independent Inquiry into Telford CSE cases (IITCSE) through my work in Parliament and with Telford & Council. This QC-led inquiry remains in progress.
It may be helpful to summarise the actions I have been taking to tackle this issue on behalf of victims and my constituents since I was first elected:
- I have been shining a light on this problem by raising the matter in PMQs and in debates in Parliament and widely in the media over many years.
- Victims who have been failed by the police and the Council have come to me for help. I have ensured that their voices were heard, and their cases prosecuted including a recent case where the victim was turned away three times and now the perpetrator has been brought to justice.
- I have secured pro bono legal advice for victims and their families, many of whom would ordinarily be unable to afford legal fees.
- I have consistently held the Council and the Police to account, publicly challenging their response and their commitment to ensuring justice is comprehensively delivered for all victims.
- I have worked on legislation in Parliament to prevent early release of perpetrators guilty of serious sexual offences. This Government has already increased sentences, but it is my firm conviction that we can go further.
- I have worked with parole board and Victims’ Commissioner to ensure victims were supported at the time of the release of offenders.
- Briefed a series of Justice and Home Office ministers on the situation in Telford, ensuring that those at the top of Government are aware of the nuances of the circumstances on the ground.
- I have repeatedly met with local Police to discuss this over the last 7 years.
I am proud of the work I have done for victims of CSE. Some of that work is not in the public domain as the cases are currently in the legal system but I would like to assure you that this issue is an absolute priority for me as Telford’s MP. I will continue to fight for justice for victims and am following the progress of the IITCSE inquiry closely.
You can read full progress reports from the IITCSE Inquiry on their website here. I continue to prioritise justice for CSE victims in Telford and I will work around the clock to ensure that these crimes are not repeated in our community or across the country.