Hull newsroom reveals shocking cases of young girls being groomed by ‘sex gangs’

A regional journalist has revealed how sex gangs are operating in Hull — with victims explaining in horrific detail what was happening to them.

Hannah Robinson’s investigation, which has been ongoing since 2018, revealed that sex gangs were preying on young girls as part of a suspected child-grooming ring in Hull.

Editor Jamie Macaskill described the investigation as shocking and disturbing, but added: “Remarkable bravery by the victims of child grooming and sexual exploitation in Hull.

“Hannah Robinson gained their trust and I hope the coverage does it justice.”

Girls, some of primary school age, have told how they were subjected to repeated rapes, sexual assaults and degrading treatment over several years. They say they were also trafficked further afield to be abused by more men.

Six young women spoke to HullLive — the online home of the Hull Daily Mail — about their ordeals in 2018. All but one of the victims was under 16 and were targeted at school.

Hannah wrote: “Only now are we legally able to reveal the full, horrifying details of the reported abuse after Humberside Police told victims its two-year investigation, dubbed Operation Marksman, is being wound down without securing the justice the girls were fighting for.

“We have been investigating accusations of a child exploitation ring operating in Hull and East Yorkshire since 2018. Six brave young women spoke to us about the rapes and assaults they say they endured since 2017.

“At the time, we contacted Humberside Police about the allegations, and complied with their requests to postpone publication to avoid compromising sensitive stages of their investigation.”

A total of 34 men and women have been arrested on suspicion of offences such as rape, sexual assault and facilitating child exploitation, but only a small number have been charged.

Police told Hannah they were now appealing for victims to come forward, with officers so far unable to prove the existence of an organised ring.

A leader comment piece in Friday’s Mail, said: “Perhaps the most disturbing detail about the alleged child grooming ring we expose today is that most of those said to be responsible are still at large.

“While the young victims continue to feel trapped by the horrors of the sexual abuse they say their experienced as children, the individuals they blame are free to walk the streets.

“For most of our readers, the abuse likely feels so distant: Yet it is terrifyingly close to everyday life, with missed opportunities seemingly peppered throughout the girls’ accounts.”

You can read the investigation here.

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