Tuesday May 8, 2018
The government has broken a promise to cut soaring numbers of children being “farmed out” to children’s homes vast distances from where they were brought up and live.
Ann Coffey, the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, will use a Commons debate today (Tuesday) to say there is growing evidence that “a sent away generation” of vulnerable youngsters are in danger of falling prey to paedophiles and drugs gangs.
The government pledged to clampdown on so called out of borough placements five years ago but there has been a 64 per cent rise nationally in the number of children being sent to live away between 2012 and 2017.
There has also been a huge increase in the number of sent-away children going missing with the number of missing incidents more than doubling to almost 10,000 a year.
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”.
Stockport MP Ann Coffey visited the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), whose national support line is based in Stockport.
NAPAC is a national charity which offers support to adults who suffered any type of childhood abuse – physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect. NAPAC’s support line is totally confidential and is free from landlines and mobile phones is 0808 801 0331.
During her visit, Ann met some of the busy NAPAC volunteers, who receive extensive training before they take calls. The demand for the survivor support line and e-mail support service has risen substantially over the past three years, with 89,960 call attempts last year.