SEVERAL victims have come forward to report horrific widespread child abuse by Asian and Middle Eastern men in Hull – leading police to launch ‘Operation Marksman’.
A girl who says she was tied to a radiator then subjected to humiliating sexual abuse by a group of men is one of six alleged victims of Hull’s grooming ring to bravely speak out so far.
All but one of the victims who has come forward was a child at the time of the abuse, with the paedophile rings said to have operated in schools, a medical facility, and a children’s home.
While one victim described being tied to a radiator while wearing her school uniform before being raped by a man in his sixties, another said she saw a girl raped by up to eight men while unconscious.
The all-white victims have all reported being trafficked to other men – all of ‘Asian and Middle Eastern’ backgrounds, including Turkish, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Kurdish.
Shockingly, however, despite the operation being ongoing for almost two years, Police have only now revealed the operation’s existence, and, despite 34 men and woman being arrested or questioned, only one man has so far been convicted.
“I was told to believe the parties were fun,” one of the victims told The Hull Daily Mail.
She started to be abused by men a month after accepting an invitation to a party at a flat in west Hull.
Six or seven other girls were sat on the floor of the flat when she arrived, with two men standing over them. She claims one of the girls was wearing a primary school uniform.
“I was in a vulnerable place in my life and I thought it was fun to be taking the drugs,” Lucy told Hull Live.
“I actually developed a serious drug addiction because of how much the men were giving me.
“They gave me cocaine and these pills, but I don’t know what was in them.
“I was then pinned down by one of the men, and I kept telling him no because it was wrong, but he had sex with me. I lost my virginity and I was only 13.”
Police are now appealing for potential victims to come forward after their inquiry failed to find sufficient evidence to bring charges against the alleged abusers.
“Specialist officers have been involved at every step of this case, specifically trained in investigating sexual related offences and child sexual exploitation and have provided support to the girls throughout” said Detective Superintendent Laura Koscikiewicz, head of Humberside’s protecting vulnerable people unit. “They have been very thankful for this.
“We’ve also worked very closely with partner agencies such as social care, children’s services, adult services and charities, to encourage information sharing, investigate any third party disclosures following the accounts of the victims and ensure we have collected all evidence available to us.”
“We understand that talking about sexual exploitation is incredibly difficult and distressing, and takes a lot of courage to disclose. I want to praise the girls for their bravery and strength throughout this difficult two years.
“Should any new pieces of information come to light in relation to this case, it will be treated extremely seriously and investigated to determine whether this builds on the evidence we currently have.
“We would also appeal for anyone who believes they have been or are currently a victim of child sexual exploitation, or any similar offence to come forward and speak to us. These reports will always be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.”
Intriguingly, however, cross-border child abuse and potential grooming activity was highlighted in the city as far back as 2019, with Ian Newton, 64, a former senior social worker who worked for Hull City Council through an agency, telling the Express:
“I have been warning since starting work in Hull three years ago that this needs to be nipped in the bud.”
He added: “I know what is going on in Hull and know girls are being trafficked and I am letting politicians know, and like the man who is in debt, they do not want to open the letters, and so the problems are getting worse.
“One social worker told me he was sat around a table to discuss 14 year old girls having sex with men.
“This young social worker piped up, ‘This girl is a prostitute and it’s a lifestyle choice’.
“And we wonder why we have a grooming epidemic.”
Mr Newton also claimed that rather than authorities taking action, he ended up being suspended by Hull City Council for speaking out.