Having today met with the family who received the Notice of Threat to Personal Safety I make the following statement.
“All residents have a right to expect that the Police will take every step necessary to ensure their personal safety when there has been a serious threat to life.
"I am concerned that a Telford family has been threatened by persons equipped with firearms who have made threats to attend their address to retrieve material evidence in relation to the Telford CSE Inquiry. I note West Mercia Police will take what steps they can to minimise the risk, but it is of significant concern that the police say they are unable to protect this family despite the serious nature of this threat. I have been working with this family for over a year and I am aware of the details of the case, having been furnished with the case files by the family. I was able to secure pro-bono legal advice for the family by a QC.
"I urge the Police to take every measure to identify the source of this threat and to keep the family and their representatives updated. In a case of this nature, I believe there is a duty on the police to locate this family in a place of safety as a matter of urgency.
"In relation to the evidence regarding CSE crimes, I have asked the new CSE inquiry chairman to contact the family to take steps to secure this information.
"The Attorney General and the Minister for Safeguarding have been fully aware of this particular case since March 2018 when I first raised it with them and in Parliament. In the light of this Police Notice I will be escalating the matter to the Home Secretary. I have also asked for the intervention of the Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion, to urgently ensure the safety of this Telford family.
"It is because of cases and victims like these that the Telford CSE Inquiry is of such importance to our community. This is why I have continued to push the Council to act without delay in setting up the Inquiry.”