Friday, 23 November 2012

Police shut down Rochdale takeaway in ‘child grooming’ probe

SHUT DOWN: Tariq’s Pizza Plus, in Milnrow, has been hit with a three-month closure orderA Rochdale takeaway has been shut down as part of a new probe into the alleged sexual exploitation of children.

Tariq’s Pizza Plus, in Milnrow, was slapped with a three-month closure order by a magistrates court after an application from police and licensing officers.

A man who previously worked at the takeaway has also been banned from associating with a number of named people said to be ‘at risk of sexual exploitation’.

The probe was launched after Rochdale council received a number of alerts.

The allegations were passed to police and yesterday Bury and Rochdale magistrates granted the closure order.

Supt Chris Hankinson, based at Rochdale, said: "In recent weeks, we have been informed about a pattern of anti-social behaviour relating to an individual who worked at these premises. An investigation is ongoing, but we felt it was important to take proactive measures to safeguard any children who may come into contact with this individual.

"As a result, we issued him with a number of abduction notices which prohibit a person from associating with named individuals when they are at risk of sexual exploitation.This individual no longer works at, or associates with, the premises.

"Working in partnership with Rochdale council, we have now secured a temporary closure of the premises to ensure that any risk to vulnerable youngsters is kept to a minimum while the criminal investigation continues."

Jeanette Staley, Rochdale council’s community safety manager, said: "An application was made at Bury and Rochdale magistrates’ court to allow us to close Tariq’s Pizza Plus, in Dale Street, Milnrow.

"We were acting on community intelligence and police concerns. The council have reasonable grounds to believe that in recent months crime and disorder related to the premises has occurred.

"The court granted the application and the premises will now close with immediate effect for three months."


  1. Thousands of children are sexually abused by gangs and groups in England each year, according to a report. The Office of Children's Commissioner study says there were 2,409 victims in the 14 months to October 2011 - but the true number is likely to be far higher.The report also identifies 16,500 children who were at "high risk of sexual exploitation" in 2010-11. David Cameron told the House of Commons the report was "extremely disturbing" and should be studied carefully. The report, titled "I thought I was the only one - the only one in the world", sets out the findings from the first year of a two-year inquiry. It is the first study to set out the scale of the sexual exploitation of children and young people. It comes in the wake of the jailing in May of nine Asian men for grooming and sexually exploiting white girls as young as 13 in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. It draws on figures for sexual abuse, young offending and child health from local authorities, police, health services, voluntary agencies and children and young people.

    The deputy children's commissioner, Sue Berelowitz, said the evidence indicated the perpetrators "come from all ethnic groups and so do their victims, contrary to what some may wish to believe". She cautioned the "model" of Asian men preying on white girls was just one of "a number of models". "The failure of agencies to recognise this means that too many child victims are not getting the protection and support they so desperately need," Ms Berelowitz added. Analysis of the reported ethnicity of more than 1,500 alleged perpetrators showed that about a third were white, the largest ethnic group. "The reality is that each year thousands of children in England are raped and abused by people seeking to humiliate, violate and control them," said Ms Berelowitz. She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that in six out of 10 cases no information was available on ethnicity.The authors say evidence to the inquiry indicates that in any given year the actual number of children being abused is far greater than the 2,409 confirmed in the report.

  2. Download publication

    Child Sexual Expolitation Inquiry interim report - I thought I was the only one. The only one in the world