Leeds detectives reviewed 200 cases in historic sex abuse operation

Detective Superintendent Pat Twiggs, Head of Crime for Leeds District.
Detective Superintendent Pat Twiggs, Head of Crime for Leeds District.

Detectives in Leeds have reviewed as many as 200 old cases as part of investigations into historic child sexual exploitation in the city.

A trawl of intelligence databases, past crime reports and missing persons reports led police to contact dozens of potential victims.

The specialist support that Basis was able to provide to the operation was absolutely invaluable.

Det Supt Pat Twiggs

They were supported in some of the most sensitive cases by a Leeds charity which is carrying out groundbreaking work to support historic victims.

Initially funded as a 12-month pilot by the Home Office, Basis Yorkshire’s advocacy and support scheme has a waiting list of women seeking support as it enters its second year.

Taylor Austin-Little, who worked on the pilot, said: “We were working with some women in their late 30s and 40s. They have had that baggage with them for 30-odd years.

“Some cases have been fully investigated and the police can’t do more, but it was enough for the women to be believed and listened to now.”

How Basis Yorkshire is supporting the victims of historic CSE

Detective Superintendent Pat Twiggs, Head of Crime for Leeds District, said: “Those we identified as potential victims were contacted either through visits or by letter as part of our efforts to identify any offences and ensure suitable safeguarding measures were put in place.

“A number of the visits saw police officers accompanied by specially-trained staff from support agency Basis who also conducted many of the visits independently.

“The specialist support that Basis was able to provide to the operation was absolutely invaluable and clearly illustrates how important the role of the third sector agencies is on sensitive issues such as this.”

He said the operation did not identify any significant issues in the city, but protecting the victims of child sexual exploitation remained a priority for police and their partner agencies throughout Leeds.

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