London: Hundreds of British children are
being allured and groomed by networks of sophisticated older
men for sexual exploitation, a leading UK-Based charity
"It's a growing phenomenon and it's extremely difficult
for police as there are networks of older men grooming and
trafficking children within the UK for sexual exploitation,"
charity Barnardo's said in its report.
In a survey, it found that organised criminals are
gaining the trust of vulnerable young girls by showering them
with gifts and affection, before plying them with alcohol and
"They are then moved from city to city, where they are
forced to have sex with numerous other men," the report said.
Chief executive of Barnardo's Martin Narey said, "The
exploitation was becoming more organised and the abusers more
"The children we work with feel a terrible sense of
shame. They've been forced to do awful things by the adults
who groom and control them – yet somehow society blames them.
A child cannot consent to their own abuse," Narey added.
Barnardo's estimates that thousands of British children
could be being sold for sex around the country, yet only 20
per cent of local authorities have any specialist services to
help them, The Guardian reported.
Wendy Shepherd, a service manager for the charity, said
she believed the total number being trafficked within the UK
was likely to be in the hundreds.
First Published: Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 18:03