Tobias Ellwood seeks explanation from Oxfordshire Council for including Bournemouth in shocking sexual abuse report
Tobias Ellwood has today written a firm letter to Oxfordshire County Council regarding this week’s report citing historic sexual abuse, which referenced a number of criminals bringing victims to London and Bournemouth in order to abuse them.
The reference to Bournemouth, on page 10, claimed that “some of the girls were taken to other towns and cities such as London and Bournemouth” to be abused.
Commenting after sending the letter, Tobias said;
“Like the rest of the UK, I am incredibly shocked and saddened to hear of the historic abuse that went on in Oxfordshire, revealed in this week’s report into the abuse. My thoughts are with the many victims and their families, for whom the release of this report must be an incredibly distressing time.
I am particularly concerned about the way this has been handled by Oxfordshire County Council – it is not the way things are usually done to release a very serious report that references other locations like Bournemouth without giving prior notice to local authorities such as the local police or council. I have spoken to both Bournemouth Council and to a Senior Constable at Dorset Police; neither authority was made aware of the report’s references to Bournemouth prior to its public release, and as far as I am informed neither were aware at the time of these allegations of abuse taking place in Bournemouth, despite Oxford Council being aware of the situation.
I have now written to the Chief Executive of Oxfordshire County Council to demand answers in this situation, and hope that I can be reassured that omitting to report such serious allegations and criminal activity in Bournemouth will never happen again.”
Tobias' full letter reads as follows;
Dear Joanna Simons CBE,
Re: Serious Case Review into Child Sexual Exploitation in Oxfordshire
I am writing regarding the report published yesterday by the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board, which I read with both interest and concern.
In particular, I was surprised to read the reference made to Bournemouth on page 10, where the report states: “In addition to being abused in various locations in Oxford, some of the girls were taken to other towns and cities such as London and Bournemouth for the same purpose”.
Having spoken urgently with Dorset Police and Bournemouth Borough Council, it seems that both were unaware of the town’s supposed connections to the child sexual abuse taking place in Oxford. I am surprised that this report includes Bournemouth without contacting the local MPs, Council or Dorset Police to discuss the concerns first.
I would be grateful for an urgent and full explanation about this matter and would urge Oxfordshire County Council to share any information they have relating to Bournemouth with the local authorities and police immediately, something which so far has not happened.
We are working hard to ensure that Bournemouth retains its reputation as a pleasant place to live, work and visit. I hope you therefore understand why I feel it is important to question why none of the local stakeholders were informed about the town’s alleged connection to child sexual abuse. I am puzzled to see how this situation has arisen and hope that immediate action will be taken to give a full background to the case and ensure nothing similar happens again.
I look forward to hearing from you.
MP for Bournemouth East
The full report from the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board can be found at the following link: