Home news Police list identifies 'grooming hotspots' in Newcastle

Police list identifies 'grooming hotspots' in Newcastle


Takeaways, gyms and public open spaces have been named among 16 “grooming hotspots” in a leaked police document.The list was compiled by Northumbria Police for internal purposes but part of it has been seen by the BBC.It mentions businesses and locations in Newcastle including specific fast food outlets, gyms and parks.The force said it was not a formal list of crime-related incidents but highlighted popular areas, to help identify potential safeguarding issues.It said it would also be investigating how part of the document came to be in the public domain.Locations also include part of the city walls and a disused business premises.Some were earmarked as “frequented by young people whilst reported as absent or missing”.’Sexually exploited’Northumbria Police said it was aware of “a post currently circulating on social media about community intelligence and sexual exploitation ‘hotspots'”.It said: “These… have been identified as potential vulnerable areas for these types of crimes and together with local authorities we aim to ensure crime prevention and safeguarding policing are put in place.”Officers will be contacting these, and other locations to discuss how we can work with communities to keep the public safe and protected.”Det Supt Mick Paterson said: “The prevention of sexual exploitation is a top priority and we work tirelessly with local authorities to develop our relationships within the community to ensure public safety.”Community engagement and identifying ‘hotspots’ are two of the forms of policing we use to maximise the safeguarding of potential victims.”A number of police investigations into vulnerable girls being sexually exploited by gangs of men have led to a series of high profile trials in recent years.Scores of men have been jailed following successful prosecutions across the country, including Newcastle. In August, 17 men and one woman were convicted of plying girls with alcohol and drugs and forcing them to have sex.The following month four men were convicted at Newcastle Crown Court for their part in a gang which sexually exploited girls as young as 13.
Source: BBC Tyne and Wear