Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has called for a national inquiry into shocking levels of child sex exploitation.

And in the wake of the Rotherham abuse scandal, he revealed that he had fears about the problem in Huddersfield and the rest of West Yorkshire six years ago.

Mr Sheerman said he investigated claims that teenage girls from Huddersfield and Dewsbury were being lured into sex by older men.

The veteran MP now believes there must be a widespread national inquiry in to the problems, which were laid bare last week in a shock report into the Rotherham case. That report looked at more than 1,400 cases of girls being lured into sex abuse by gangs of mainly Asian men.

West Yorkshire Police have confirmed they are currently investigating 65 cases of alleged child sexual exploitation.

Mr Sheerman said: “I was first approached back in 2008 by people who were concerned at what was happening to children in care.

“I also heard from, members of a group called CROP, who worked with prostitutes in West Yorkshire, with horror stories of pimps preying on young girls. There were claims that girls from Huddersfield were being taken to cities like Manchester and abused.

“I spoke to senior police officers and to Kirklees Council and was told the problem was very difficult to investigate, as many of the girls had not made complaints.

“ In light of what has happened in Rotherham, I believe we have to have a national inquiry involving all agencies to see what needs to be done”.

Rotherham
Rotherham
 

Meanwhile members of Huddersfield Pakistani Community Alliance have levelled those involved in Rotherham as vile criminals, but also condemned sensational reporting in national newspapers of the abuse scandal.

A spokesman said: “Regarding the paedophiles in Rotherham or elsewhere, they are vile criminals, lacking in conscience, humanity and remorse. Society needs to be protected from them.”