From Keighley News, 12th October 2017
Written by Miran Rahman
KEIGHLEY'S MP has said he does not think a new inquiry into the sexual exploitation of children in Keighley and Bradford would be in the best interests of young people. John Grogan said it would be better to support and contribute to the ongoing national inquiry into this crime, rather than hold a specific investigation dedicated to Bradford and Keighley districts.
He stressed: "If I thought it would save one child from harm I would of course support a local inquiry.
"But I think the best use of resources in Keighley now is to educate young people, give extra help to the victims and their families and support the police in catching the offenders and disrupting the grooming gangs."
As previously reported in the Keighley News, Ingrow mum Angela Sinfield has been spearheading a campaign to secure an independent, public enquiry into sexual grooming of children in Keighley and Bradford.
Her petition calling for this investigation has attracted thousands of signatures from supporters.
But Mr Grogan said unlike the situation in other UK towns, he is confident that in Keighley and Bradford there is a proper system in place to protect youngsters from gangs of sexual predators.
He added: "I recently attended a meeting of the United Keighley Child Sexual Exploitation Working Group, which brings together many voluntary organisations together with the police and the council.
"I have met the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and had discussions with local campaigners.
"In addition I have consulted Ann Cryer who, when she was the Member of Parliament, bravely drew attention to the grooming gangs operating in Keighley.
"There is no more evil crime than child abuse, whether the perpetrators are grooming gangs, priests or ministers or relatives of the victims.
"The criminals involved should be sent to prison for a very long time.
"Together with United Keighley and the West Yorkshire PCC, next year I will be organising an event aimed at Keighley's schools, churches, mosques and youth groups looking at the very best practice in educating the next generation about the threat of sexual exploitation.
"I am confident that partly because of the work of Mrs Cryer and local campaigners, and unlike in Rotherham, for the last five years there has been a robust system in place in Bradford to protect children and prosecute offenders.
"Every day representatives of the police, schools and social services meet to review the latest cases where a child is considered to be under threat.
"Gradually they are also reviewing past cases to see if any additional prosecutions might be undertaken."