Below is my interview with Radio 5 Live on May 8th 2018. I was asked to speak following my parliamentary debate on children missing from care.
I spoke in Parliament about the soaring numbers of vulnerable children being forced to live in children’s homes many miles away and the rise in missing incidents.
Since 2012, the number of children in Children’s Homes who are placed out of their local area has soared by 64%. This means that 61% of children in Children’s Homes are now sent to live outside their Borough.
The All Party Group for runaway and missing children and adults heard that these vulnerable children are more likely to go missing. By going missing they are at greater risk of sexual exploitation and grooming by criminal gangs to supply firearms and drugs.
Since 2015, the number of missing incidents involving these children has skyrocketed by 110%.
Last month in Stockport, 65% of children who went missing from Stockport Care Homes were placed by other authorities.
For more information please read the full press release here.
30th January 2018
A significant increase in violent crime associated with drug gangs who groom young children has been reported by more than two thirds of police forces.
According to a survey of police forces by Ann Coffey, MP for Stockport, the extreme violence includes murders, rapes, stabbings, kidnappings, a hand severed off with a machete, legs broken and use of boiling water, knives, bats and hammers.
Ms Coffey, who is the chair of the All Party Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, wrote to all 45 police forces in Great Britain asking specifically if violence linked to so-called ‘County Lines’ had increased.
All 45 responded and of those 80% (36 police forces) stated that levels of violence linked to County Lines had increased recently. Others talked more generally about ‘high levels of violence”.
Drugs gangs targeting vulnerable children in Greater Manchester
Ann Coffey MP warned today that vulnerable children in Greater Manchester are being targeted by violent criminal gangs to transport and sell drugs across the country.
Speaking in a House of Commons adjournment debate on ‘County Lines’, Ms Coffey said that children in children’s homes and Pupil Referral Units were being groomed and used by gangs. She urged anyone who suspected this was happening in their community to report it to Greater Manchester Police.