Almost 19,000 children have been victims of child exploitation in England since last year, according to official figures released by The Independent.

Activists said the number is much higher and that the government is actually avoiding addressing the problem.

The number of victims of child sexual exploitation rose in just five years from 3,300 in 2014 to more than 18,700 in 2018/19, according to local authority estimates cited by The Independent.

“Too many times, government has said it will ‘learn lessons,’ yet 19,000 children are still at risk of sexual exploitation,” Rotherham Labour MP Sarah Champion told The Independent.

“The government has singularly failed to tackle this issue head on. Its approach has been piecemeal and underfunded,” she added.

A Home Office spokesman told The Independent, “The inquiry is investigating institutional responses to child sexual exploitation by organized criminal networks, with public hearings set for the spring of 2020.”

It should also be noted that despite Home Secretary Salid Javid’s promise in 2018 an investigation into the activity of pedophile organizations—which included a high proportion of Pakistanis—the queen made no mention of it in the speech that defined the legislative agenda of new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Rape, sexual assault, and grooming

The term ‘grooming’ refers to a series of actions and behaviors carried out by pedophile networks on the Internet, in order to gain the child’s trust and sexually assault him/her. They may then traffic the child, force the child to produce pornographic material or sexually subject the child to other perverts.

Sammy Woodhouse, one of the victims of rapist Arshid Hussain who helped expose the pedophile gangs operating in the city of Rotherham, said she continues to receive reports of child sexual abuse in the country today.

“They haven’t learned anything,” Woodhouse emphasized, referring to the authorities. “I’ve said for years that this country’s in epidemic when it comes to abuse and exploitation. Authorities claim it’s under control but it’s not,” she said.

“I think the most scary thing is all the people it’s happening to that they don’t know about,” she added. “Most won’t report and they go under the radar,” she told The Independent. “I still hear a lot about the authorities aren’t doing things as they should,” she concluded.

An independent analysis by the National Society for the Prevention of Child Cruelty revealed that sexual crimes against children reached an all-time high in 2018/19, an increase of more than 60 percent since 2014/15.

The society estimated the number of suspected child sex crimes in the UK at 76,204, an average of one crime every seven minutes.

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