Grooming gangs across the country are repeating the horrific abuse exposed in Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford and most recently Newcastle, victims and investigators have warned.
There are mounting calls for nationwide action to combat sexual exploitation, with authorities accused of playing catch-up after ignoring victims “for decades and decades”.
Sammy Woodhouse, who was abused as a teenager by the Rotherham ringleader Arshid “Mad Ash” Hussain and has waived her right to anonymity, said abuse was underway “all over the country”.
“It’s an issue for every town and city, more people are being failed,” she told The Independent. “I’m hearing a lot of new complaints from survivors.
“Some are saying they have been to the police and didn’t get taken seriously, others are getting support.
“But I think the Government is still trying to play this down and make out it’s not a major issue – they are not doing enough.”
Her calls for action came as figures show that in Bradford 1,153 referrals were made to its child sexual exploitation team in 2016/17 – a 62 per cent increase on the year before.