Task force to investigate Govanhill child exploitation

Police officers patrol Govanhill in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
Police officers patrol Govanhill in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
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A specialist police task force is investigating claims that children are routinely being sexually exploited in one of Scotland’s most deprived communities.

The National Child Abuse Investigation Unit (NCAIU) has launched a probe into allegations made concerning minors in the Govanhill area.

NCAIU was set up by Police Scotland in 2015 to look into cases of complex child abuse and neglect across the country.

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Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams said: “Our NCAIU is working with Greater Glasgow police division and partners to robustly investigate concerns raised about child sexual exploitation in Govanhill.

“Anyone with any information or concerns about the safety of children in Govanhill or any other community in Scotland should contact the police on 101 or the social work department.”

Earlier this month First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged residents in her constituency to report any concerns about exploitation to police.

It followed a report in the The Times newspaper in which specialist agencies, social workers and residents alleged that Roma children were being routinely exploited by parents and relatives.

Locals in Govanhill told the newspaper of either being offered Roma children for sex or being approached outside bars by youngsters themselves.

The report claimed that in September 2015 Crosshill and Govanhill Community Council recorded in minutes that an “issue had been raised regarding child prostitution within Govanhill” and children were seen to be wandering the streets at night.

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