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Child sex abuse in gangs investigated.

Summary: An investigation is being launched on Friday into the plight of thousands of children who are sexually exploited by street gangs.

An investigation is being launched on Friday into the plight of thousands of children who are sexually exploited by street gangs.

Current figures suggest up to 10,000 youngsters could be subject to sexual abuse by gangs or other groups.

However initial research carried out for the Office of the Children's Commissioner has suggested that this figure could be much higher, and the two-year probe will examine the exact extent of the problem in England.

The inquiry will be led by Deputy Children's Commissioner Sue Berelowitz and will gather evidence from police and local authorities as well as health and youth justice workers, before publishing an interim report in July.

More information will then be gathered the following autumn into early 2013, and the final report will be released in September that year.

It comes after concerns have already been raised about a lack of action over the abuse of children, with charity Barnardo's warning in August that parents and professionals were missing telltale signs of youngsters being groomed for sex.

Furthermore, in June, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre published research which found that two-thirds of Local Safeguarding Children Boards have failed to put in place "basic processes" to stop sexual abuse.

Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Oct 13, 2011
Words:250
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