As per new official data revealed by authorities in the United Kingdom, nearly 19,000 children were "groomed" for sexual exploitation in the past year in the country. The data has urged the experts to issue warnings for an "epidemic".
Between 2018-19, authorities identified 18,700 suspected victims of child sexual exploitation. The number was 3,300 just five years ago. According to anti-sexual exploitation campaigners, the number is far from being the correct figure.
The revelation comes in the wake of investigations into several high-profile child sexual harassment cases in England. Rotherham Labour MP Sarah Champion attacked the government, accusing it of failing to contain the problem.
"Too many times, the government has said it will ‘learn lessons’, yet 19,000 children are still at risk of sexual exploitation," The Independent quoted her as saying. The highest rates of child grooming victims in the UK exist in areas such as Lancashire, Birmingham and Bradford. In fact, 600 victims of sexual exploitation were identified in Lancashire alone, Daily Mail reported.
Following the uproar against the recent data, a Home Office spokesperson said that the department is "committed" when it comes to tackling sexual exploitation and abuse. They also added that the department will leave "no stone unturned" in its attempts to curb such "abhorrent behaviour".