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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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3/14/2018 11:09:11 AM

Explosions Rattle Austin as Calls About Suspicious Packages Mount

Two people have been killed and three people injured in a series of package explosions in Austin, Tex. Police officials have received 265 calls from residents about suspicious packages.
Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

AUSTIN, Tex. — A mundane part of modern-day life and commerce — a package left on a doorstep — has set off waves of anxiety here in the Texas capital, after three packages with homemade bombs inside exploded and killed two people.

Since the authorities asked the public on Monday to report any unexpected packages that did not come from an official distributor like the United States Postal Service, Austin police officials have received 265 calls from residents about suspicious packages. The police, who have said they believed the explosions are linked, were responding to each report.

The flurry of 911 calls illustrated residents’ fears, particularly in the three neighborhoods where the packages exploded. The bomber appeared to have avoided mailing the packages and instead placed them by the victims’ front doors. On Tuesday, on the quiet Oldfort Hill Drive, where one of the devices detonated the day before, Tracy Nguyen, 32, an advertising employee who lives on the street, said she was “even afraid to check my mailbox,” adding, “I know that’s a little paranoid.”

In the span of 10 days in Austin, two people have been killed and three people injured in a series of package explosions so powerful that the reverberations shook the windows and walls blocks away. The suspect or suspects appear to have left the packages at three homes in the northeast and eastern sections of the city — one on March 2, and another two on Monday. Inside the packages were improvised explosive devices. In two of the bombings, the devices detonated when residents picked them up, and in the third, the package exploded after the person carried it into the house and opened it, officials said.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Chief Brian Manley of the Austin Police Department told reporters that investigators were not ruling out that the attacks were terrorist acts or hate crimes. All of the deceased and wounded victims in the bombings were black or Hispanic. Earlier in the day, the mayor of Austin, Steve Adler, said it was too early in the investigation to establish the motive.

“It would be wrong at this point for our public safety folks to pick one direction before we have enough information, because that might mean that they would overlook something else,” Mr. Adler told reporters.

Two of the people killed after handling the packages were members of African-American families with deep roots in the city’s black, religious and civil-rights groups. Community leaders in Austin said the first fatal victim on March 2, Anthony Stephan House, 39, was the stepson of Freddie B. Dixon, 73, a retired United Methodist minister and civil rights advocate. The other fatal victim on Monday, Draylen Mason, 17, was the grandson of Norman L. Mason, a prominent dentist.

Mr. Dixon and the elder Mr. Mason have known each other for years: Mr. Dixon and Mr. Mason’s wife were among the founders of the Austin Area Urban League in the late 1970s.

“We’re not jumping to conclusions, but based on what’s known, we’re on heightened alert,” said Gary L. Bledsoe, the president of the Texas N.A.A.C.P. and a lawyer who lives in Austin. He said he was being watchful of packages delivered both to his home and his office.

“If it’s a package I’m not expecting, then I’m not going to open it,” Mr. Bledsoe said, adding, “and I’m telling everyone else to do the same thing. We don’t really know what’s happening, so the best thing to do is just not take possession of such a package.

The 17-year-old who died on Monday, Draylen Mason, was a promising classical musician who was set to enter the University of Texas’s Butler School of Music this fall to study music performance, a competitive program. A double bassist, he played in the orchestra at his high school, East Austin College Prep, as well as during church services on Sundays. Since he was 11, he had been a member of the Austin Soundwaves, a youth orchestra program that taught music in underserved city schools that lacked music programs of their own.

He was “a remarkably and precociously talented bass player,” Doug Dempster, the dean of the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Fine Arts, who serves on the program’s board, said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon. During performances in recent years, Mr. Dempster said, he often noticed Draylen leading and coaching younger players.

“He was every inch a musician. He carried himself with a kind of quiet maturity that belied his youth,” Mr. Dempster said. “His gentle confidence seemed to come from a conviction that hard work and talent was going to work for him. It did.”

On Tuesday, Chief Manley said investigators were trying to determine what the victims had in common. “One of the key things we’re trying to understand — is there a connection between the victims, what is the victimology, what is the motive behind these attacks?” he said.

Earlier, Chief Manley told KXAN News in a television interview that building, transporting and delivering the devices to the homes without the bombs prematurely exploding showed “a level of skill.” The police chief added: “When the victims have picked these packages up, they have at that point exploded. There is a certain level of skill and sophistication that whoever is doing this has.”

The F.B.I., A.T.F. and Postal Service have all sent specialists to help investigate the bombings. Chief Manley encouraged the public to continue calling in tips and offered a combined $65,000 reward — $50,000 from the city and $15,000 from the state — for information leading to an arrest.

In the neighborhood that was the scene of the first bombing, the red-brick home on Haverford Drive where the package exploded still has plywood covering the front door. The wall next to the door has an exposed gash, and the doorbell, still lit, dangles from a wire. Neighbors said that they had a heightened awareness of suspicious packages, but that they were not changing their routines or behaviors a great deal.

“We’re not going to stop ordering packages,” said Don Shin, 40, a software developer who lives near the scene of the explosion on Haverford Drive. “We’re certainly going to be a lot more mindful of what we’re expecting and what we’re not expecting.”

Moments later, after Mr. Shin drove away with his wife and children, a sign of normalcy was visible at his door: a large box from Amazon.


Christine Hauser and Vivian Yee contributed reporting from New York.

(The New York Times)
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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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3/14/2018 4:28:39 PM

US prepared to act on Syria if UN Security Council won't - Haley

Edited time: 13 Mar, 2018 12:30

FILE PHOTO: The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter conducts strike operations while in the Mediterranean Sea © Ford Williams / U.S. Navy / AFP

US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley has warned that the US will take action in Syria on its own if the UN Security Council fails to do so. The official cited last year’s attack on a Syrian airbase as an example of possible US action.

“It is not the path we prefer, but it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again,” Haley told the UN Security Council meeting on Monday. "When the international community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action."

When the Security Council “failed to act” after the Khan Sheikhoun chemical incident last year, the US “successfully struck the airbase from which Assad had launched his chemical attack,” Haley stated. It should be noted that the US attacked the base only three days after the incident, without any investigation into it, while the blame was promptly pinned on Damascus.

The US diplomat blamed Russia for not observing the 30-day ceasefire in Syria and accused Moscow of deliberately putting an anti-terrorism
“loophole” in the February UNSC resolution.

“With that vote, Russia made a commitment to us, to Syrian people and to the world to stop the killing in Syria. Today, we know that Russians did not keep their commitment,” Haley said, claiming that Russia and Damascus continue to bomb “innocent civilians” under a pretext of fighting terrorism.

Haley announced a new US-sponsored draft of a ceasefire resolution for Syria, which will not have any “anti-terrorism loopholes.” The resolution, if adopted, would take effect immediately and call for a complete cessation of hostilities in Syria. It remains unclear exactly how the US plans to enforce the measure on terrorist groups.

Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, dismissed the allegations of violating the resolution, stating that western countries use the situation in Eastern Ghouta only as a pretext to put pressure on Russia and blindly put the blame on Damascus for any incidents in the country. The anti-terrorism operation in the Damascus suburbs does not violate the resolution by any means, and is actually contributing to its implementation, he stressed.

“We believe it’s important for everyone to understand: Resolution 2401 is not about an immediate cessation of hostilities, which would be a utopia, it’s about the sides [of the conflict] reaching a preliminary agreement on a stable de-escalation in all regions of Syria, not in Eastern Ghouta only. It’s the only realistic way, and the resolution has a clear statement on this issue, which we’re trying to speed up,” the senior Russian diplomat said.


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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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3/14/2018 5:12:47 PM
Russia says U.S. plans to strike Damascus, pledges military response

Reuters Staff

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Tuesday it had information that the United States planned to bomb the government quarter in Damascus on an invented pretext, and said it would respond militarily if it felt Russian lives were threatened by such an attack.

Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces, Valery Gerasimov, arrives for the opening ceremony of the International Army Games 2017 in Alabino, outside Moscow, Russia, July 29, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Valery Gerasimov, head of Russia’s General Staff, said Moscow had information that rebels in the enclave of eastern Ghouta were planning to fake a chemical weapons attack against civilians and blame it on the Syrian army.

He said the United States intended to use the fake attack as a pretext to bomb the government quarter in nearby Damascus where he said Russian military advisers, Russian military police and Russian ceasefire monitors were based.

“In the event of a threat to the lives of our servicemen, Russia’s armed forces will take retaliatory measures against the missiles and launchers used,” Gerasimov said in a statement.

He did not say when the alleged attack would take place or provide detailed evidence to back his assertions.

Russia has previously accused rebels in Syria of preparing to use toxic agents in eastern Ghouta so they could later accuse Damascus of employing chemical weapons.

Damascus denies Western allegations that government forces have used chemical weapons.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned on Monday that Washington “remains prepared to act if we must,” if the U.N. Security Council failed to act on Syria, as the Syrian army’s onslaught in eastern Ghouta continued unabated.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh


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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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3/14/2018 5:30:07 PM

Trump Fans the Flames of Sharia Law Conspiracy Theories

March 13, 2018 at 9:21 am

(MEE) On Donald Trump’s re-election campaign website, the “Listening to America 2018” survey asks for opinions on hot button issues facing the country.

Predictably for a divided America, much of its language is loaded and many of the questions are leading. But the issues covered are mostly real concerns that many people in the United States have: things like abortion, how to prevent school shootings, how to strengthen the economy and what to do about illegal immigration.

Then there’s question 27: “Are you concerned by the potential spread of Sharia Law?”

Conspiracy theories that Sharia law is creeping its way into power in America have been around for years, swirling among the most conservative fringes of American politics. Once the realm of paranoid and bigoted grassroots organisations, they eventually found their way into state legislatures as bills trying to ban the implementation of Sharia law.

But today, with Trump as president, they have worked their way up to the highest levels of power in the country, giving them more exposure – and perceived credence among conservatives – than ever before.

“What was once fringe has now become mainstream,” said Wajahat Ali, the lead author of a 2011 Center for American Progress report on the origins of the anti-Islam lobby in the US. “You can trace it to a small, incestuous network of what were once considered far-right anti-Muslim bigots who have now made their way to the White House and whose memes and talking points are now taken seriously by the Republican Party.”

Sharia is a set of principles that observant Muslims live by, similar to religious laws that members of Christian sects and Judaism follow. But anti-Sharia campaigners do not paint it as a personal set of religious values; rather, they portray it as an oppressive legal, political and military doctrine that seeks to dominate the US, subjugate non-Muslims and usurp the Constitution as the law of the land.

Sharia conspiracy theories vary in intensity, but none take into account the sheer impossibility of imposing strict Islamic laws on either a local, state or federal level in the US. But experts charge that the anti-Sharia lobby cares little about how realistic the threat is. Instead, they say they are in it for votes and power, exploiting fears of Muslims in the US.

“It’s gradually getting infused into the larger Republican party platform. And the reason they’re doing it is because it works,” said Todd Green, an associate professor of religion at Luther College in Iowa who studies Islamophobia in the US and Europe.

“It’s not about objective information about something called Sharia, or whether there’s actually any kind of threat one percent of the population poses to the entire country, or to the state of Oklahoma or Texas, or wherever these laws are being passed: it’s about tapping into already existing fears and angers in a certain segment of the population of the electorate and galvanising that and channeling it into votes. And it works.”

An Administration of Islamophobes

Trump has mentioned Sharia law several times during his political career. Campaigning for the presidency, he blamed terror attacks in Europe on populations not assimilating to their countries because “they want Sharia”. He also said that under his administration, the US would not give visas to anybody who believes Sharia should supplant US law.

But he is better known for his broader attacks on Islam: as a candidate he said he was open to closing mosques to help fight terrorism, suggested creating a database of Muslims in the US and called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”. At one point, he said: “I think Islam hates us.”

Beyond the president’s own Islamophobic statements, he has surrounded himself with current and former officials who have pushed Sharia conspiracy theories, many of whom have had ties with anti-Muslim organisations considered hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The list is long:

Kellyanne Conway, one of the president’s closest advisers, once conducted a poll for an anti-Muslim group that was largely derided as unscientific and claimed more than half of Muslims living in the US supported Sharia law.

Stephen Miller, another top White House adviser, once warned about rising “Islamofascism” when he was a college student; and Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, said he would only support a Muslim president if they renounced “the central tenant of Islam: Sharia law”. CIA director Mike Pompeo co-sponsored a bill to ban the Muslim Brotherhood.

Trump’s long list of former White House officials also heavily echoed so-called threats of Sharia law. His former chief of staff, Steve Bannon, presided over Breitbart News, a website that pandered to the far-right and regularly published articles warning of the spread of Sharia law in the US and Europe; and Michael Flynn, Trump’s short-lived national security adviser, described “Islamism” as “a vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people” that “has to be excised”.

Dangers Real for Muslims

Experts say the migration of Sharia conspiracy theories – and other Islamophobic elements that go hand in hand with them – from the fringes of the Republican Party to its core, are dangerous for Muslims in America.

“This is a kind of rhetoric that is really meant to do harm to Muslims in order for politicians to make political gain, or for anti-Muslim hate groups to also have political influence, or have financial gain arise from this,” said Green, the Luther College professor.

“The Trump administration and other Republican politicians – at least in certain areas – are doubling down on it because so far it has been a winning strategy. And they will continue to do that until it is challenged in a significant way,” he added.

The rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric is already having consequences. The campaign season of 2015 and 2016 saw a surge in hate crimes against Muslims in the country, according to the FBI. In 2016, there were even more hate crimes against Muslims than in 2001 when anti-Muslim sentiments seethed in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

As anti-Muslim and anti-Sharia voices have gained prominence, the push to bring Sharia bans into state legislatures have also increased.

To Ali, the lead author of the Islamophobia report, the threat is not just to Muslims, but to American values.

“If we are unable or unwilling to integrate Muslims and accept Muslims and people of colour as parts of the American fabric, what we will see is the American dream turned into the American nightmare,” he said.

“These forces that are preying upon anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamophobia, they threaten to corrupt and bring down America for the rest of us. That’s why this issue of Islamophobia is not just an Islamic problem, it’s an American problem.”

By Josh Wood / Republished with permission / Middle East Eye

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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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3/15/2018 10:41:53 AM

Britain's 'worst ever' child grooming scandal exposed: Hundreds of young girls raped, beaten, sold for sex and some even KILLED

SPECIAL SUNDAY MIRROR INVESTIGATION: Authorities failed to act over 40 years - despite repeated warnings to social workers - with up to 1,000 girls, some as young as 11, abused in Telford

  • 09:08, 11 MAR 2018
  • UPDATED23:45, 12 MAR 2018

  • Girls as young as 11 have been lured from their families to be drugged, beaten and raped in an epidemic that, say victims, is still ongoing

    Up to 1,000 children could have suffered in Britain’s worst known abuse scandal - where sex gangs targeted girls as young as 11.

    The rape hell of vulnerable young girls in one town - Telford - went on for a shocking 40 years, the Sunday Mirror can reveal.

    As many as 1,000 children could have suffered at the merciless hands of perverts and torturers in Telford since the 1980s.

    Girls as young as 11 have been lured from their families to be drugged, beaten and raped in an epidemic that, say victims, is still ongoing.

    THREE people were murdered and two others died in tragedies linked to the scandal.


    Despite similar high-profile cases in Rochdale and Rotherham, authorities in Telford ­repeatedly failed to stamp out a network of abusers.

    The Mirror’s 18-month investigation reveals abuse on unprecedented levels. We found:

    • Social workers knew of abuse in the 1990s but police took a decade to launch a probe
    • Council staff viewed abused and trafficked children as “prostitutes” instead of victims, according to previously unseen files
    • Authorities failed to keep details of abusers from Asian communities for fear of “racism”
    • Police failed to investigate one recent case five times until an MP intervened
    • One victim said cops tried to stop her finding out why her abusers had not been prosecuted because they feared she would talk to us

    The scale of the abuse uncovered in Telford – population 170,000 – is feared to be the most brutal and long-running of all.

    The Rotherham toll was put at 1,500 – but that was in a community of 260,000.

    Telford’s Tory MP Lucy Allan has demanded a public inquiry and said our ­findings were “extremely serious and shocking”.

    She said: “There must now be an independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Telford so that our community can have absolute ­confidence in the authorities.”

    Specialist child abuse solicitor Dino Nocivelli, of Bolt Burdon Kemp, said: “These children were treated as sexual commodities by men who inflicted despicable acts of abuse.

    "The survivors deserve an inquiry. They need to know how abuse took place for so long and why so many perpetrators have never been brought to justice.”

    Our investigators have spoken to 12 victims, most of them unconnected.

    They accused more than 70 abusers and claimed that violent rapes were still taking place just months ago.

    The Mirror has been at the forefront of exposing the child sex abuse scandals

    One 14-year-old, groomed and abused after her phone number was sold to paedophiles, said: “I hated what was happening and my abusers made my skin crawl but I was told that if I said a word to anyone they’d come for my little sisters and tell my mum I was a prostitute.

    “Night after night, I was forced to have sex with multiple men in disgusting takeaways and filthy houses.

    "I must have been getting the morning after pill from a local clinic at least twice a week but no one asked any questions.

    “I fell pregnant twice and had two abortions. Hours after my second termination, I was taken by one of my abusers to be raped by more men.

    "The worst moment came just after my 16th birthday when I was drugged and gang raped by five men.

    "Days later, the ringleader turned up at my house and told me he’d burn it down if I breathed a word of what had happened.”

    Documents which will be passed to the Home Office reveals authorities knew of the horrors a decade before investigating – and shows how they tried to hamper our probe.

    We presented our findings to Professor Liz Kelly, from the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit at London Metropolitan University.

    She helped estimate the number of victims based on figures gathered by our investigators.K

    Prof Kelly said: “We are acting as if we didn’t know about child sex abuse rings. We have an unfortunate capacity to choose to forget.”

    Sheila Taylor, of the NWG Network, worked on the Rotherham Inquiry. She said the true scale of the Telford problem might never be known because many victims were unlikely to come forward.

    She said: “There is probably a whole cohort of young people that are not identified.

    "We are good at identifying white girls but are less able to ­identify young men, young people from ethnic minority backgrounds, from travelling communities, or with learning or other ­disabilities.”

    A police investigation called ­Operation Chalice identified more than 100 potential victims abused between 2007 and 2009.

    Cops also said there could be as many as 200 perpetrators – but just nine were caged and the case was then closed.

    Today our investigation reveals the authorities were told of the abuse epidemic more than a decade before Chalice.

    Our probe – backed by documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act – found two predatory paedophiles began targeting girls from a local children’s home in 1981.

    One of the abusers earned thousands a night for years trafficking girls around the country for sex with hundreds of men, according to one victim.

    In another case, a 14-year-old was groomed by an 18-year-old Asian man in 1985.

    After she had his baby he passed her to friends to have sex with and allegedly rape her.

    The Mirror has repeatedly asked questions over the response by authorities K

    The girl, now 47, says she reported her abuse to the council and school but does not believe action was taken.

    She says her doctor said she was mentally ill and should take medication.

    The vast majority of those targeted were young white girls but teenagers from the Asian community also fell victim.

    One report commissioned by local Telford and Wrekin Council in 2013 admitted: “From the late 1990s professionals had concerns about the nature of some of the child sexual abuse cases presented to them.”

    But it blamed “understanding and learning at that time” and “existing procedures”.

    Two separate investigations were launched at the same time as Operation Chalice after two victims named dozens more abusers.

    The victim in one case – groomed at 13, sold for sex and gang raped – said she pulled out of the investigation because she “didn’t feel she was being emotionally supported” by police.

    Another victim claims officers discouraged her from pursuing her request for evidence after she told them she was speaking to the Mirror.

    Victims: Five dead as abusers' tentacles leave trail of pain and tragedy

    Lucy Lowe died at 16 in a house fire in Telford

    A mum and four girls have died in tragedies linked to the abuse.

    Lucy Lowe, 16, was killed in 2000 along with her mother and sister after her 26-year-old abuser Azhar Ali Mehmood set fire to their house.

    Cabbie Mehmood targeted Lucy in 1997 and she was just 14 when she gave birth to his daughter.

    He was jailed for murdering Lucy, her mum Eileen and 17-year-old sister Sarah.

    But he was never arrested nor charged in connection with any child sex crimes over his illegal relationship with the schoolgirl.

    Lucy’s death was used as a warning to other girls, according to victims. One, drugged and gang raped by nine men two years later, said the threats drove her to attempt suicide.

    She said: “I was scared my family would die like Lucy’s. I thought they’d only be safe if I killed myself.”

    In 2002, 13-year-old Becky Watson died in a car accident that was reported at the time as a “prank”.

    Becky Watson, 13, died in a car accident described as a "prank"

    The Mirror investigation found she suffered two years of abuse by an Asian grooming gang which began when she was just 11.

    Tragic diaries obtained by the Mirror reveal her torment at being made to “sleep around”.

    Her mum Torron Watson said she repeatedly told police that Becky was being abused – and even gave them a list of suspects.

    She told the Sunday Mirror: “Girls like Becky were treated like criminals. I was crying out for help but it felt like I had nowhere to turn. If Becky’s abuse had been properly investigated by the authorities more girls could have been saved from going through this hell.”

    Vicky Round, a friend of Becky’s, was abused by the same gang who got her hooked on crack cocaine aged 12 and on heroin by 14.

    She died aged 20 of a drugs incident and her sister Emma told us: “I have no doubt Vicky would still be here if she hadn’t been so badly abused – yet the people who made her life hell still walk the streets.”

    Telford timeline of abuse

    Early 1980s Vulnerable Telford girls are targeted by groups of mainly Asian men.

    1996 A concerned resident claims she tells police about the activities of a key abuser selling underage girls for sex.

    Late 1990s Files reveal social workers learn of the problem but do little to help.

    2000 Lucy Lowe, 16, is killed alongside her mum and sister in an arson attack by abuser Azhar Ali Mehmood, who made her pregnant at 14.

    2002 Abuse victim Becky Watson, 13, is killed in a road accident described as a “prank”.

    2009 Becky’s friend Vicky Round dies in a drugs-related incident after enduring nine years of sex hell at the hands of a string of paedophiles.

    2010-2012 Police probe dubbed Operation Chalice identifies a potential 200 abusers but only nine are jailed. Two further probes collapse.

    August 2016 The Sunday Mirror reports that the problem is continuing outside underage discos in the town but some complaints provided by volunteer street pastors are not properly logged.

    September 2016 MP Lucy Allan calls for a public inquiry but police and council officials in Telford write to Home Secretary Amber Rudd saying this isn’t necessary.

    March 2018 The Sunday Mirror reveals there could be up to 1,000 victims of the scandal and links five deaths to the abuse.

    Response: These horrific crimes are a No.1 priority say police and council

    Martin Evans, Assistant Chief Constable for West Mercia Police, said: “We are aware of the information you have provided"

    Police and local authority chiefs yesterday said all reports of child sex exploitation were taken “extremely seriously”.

    Martin Evans, Assistant Chief Constable for West Mercia Police, said: “We are aware of the information you have provided.

    “Tackling such horrific offences is the number one priority for police in Telford and we have not only increased officer numbers to tackle this type of offending, but use all of our resources and technology available to prosecute anyone who sexually offends against children whether that offending took place today, yesterday or decades ago.

    “Operation Chalice in 2013 was one of the first national complex critical investigations into grooming offences. It centred on historic offending in Telford and Wrekin and ultimately resulted in seven men jailed for a total of 49 years.

    “Over the subsequent years we have continuously focused on this area, whilst working very closely with our communities to ensure there is confidence to report issues people become aware of. Last year officials from the Home Office paid thanks to the commitment of staff working to protect young people at risk from sexual exploitation.”

    A spokesperson for Telford and Wrekin Council said yesterday: “Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a vile, evil crime. It’s an issue right across the UK and has been for a long time.

    “Telford will be covered by the national CSE review. We welcome this. All agencies continue to work very closely together and this remains our top priority.

    “Our approach to CSE is now very different from 10-20 years ago. We have learned lots of lessons and are constantly on the lookout for indicators of CSE so that we can pass information on to police and bring these evil criminals to justice. Indeed, further cases are now coming to court.”

    An OFSTED inspection into Telford’s child services in 2016 said: “Work with children and young people at risk of sexual exploitation is very strong... work to protect children who go missing from home or care is thorough and improving.”


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