1. ITV Report

Region's MPs question Children's Commissioner over child exploitation

Three of our region's MPs will question the children's commissioner in Westminster about the exploitation of children. Photo: ITV Calendar

Three of our region's MPs will question the children's commissioner in Westminster today about the exploitation of children by gangs.

The problem of grooming children in Rotherham has previously made headlines. Last November a report said 58 young girls were at risk of abuse there.

In 2011 Rotherham Council identified 50 potential victims, with the figure increasing to 58 this year.

Joyce Thacker, director for children and young people's services, said the rise was down to an improved public awareness of the problem.

Ms Thacker was among the members of the council questioned by a Home Affairs Select Committee.

Today, Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness will question the children's commissioner, along with David Ward, MP for Bradford East and Craig Whittaker, who represents Calder Valley.

In September The Times reported confidential police reports referring to widespread abuse of girls by Asian men.

The revelation came as a national report revealed thousands of children are sexually abused by gangs and groups in England each year.

The Office of Children's Commissioner study said there were 2,409 victims in the 14 months to October 2011 - but the true number was likely to be far higher.

The aim of the session is to examine the findings and recommendations of the continuing inquiry, the response from Government to a report that has already been made, and the progress made in tackling child sexual exploitation.