A public hearing into child sexual exploitation by organised networks has been held by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
The hearing, held between 21 September and 2 October, examined the extent of child sexual exploitation by organised networks in England and Wales as well as institutional responses.
The inquiry also wanted to establish whether authorities had learned lessons from high profile cases of child sexual exploitation by organised networks in places such as Rotherham, Oxford and Rochdale.
Six separate areas within England and Wales - St Helens, Tower Hamlets, Swansea, Durham, Bristol and Warwickshire - were the focus of the investigation as these regions represent a range of sizes, demographics and institutional practices.
Nujoji Calvocoressi, a member of the Inquiry’s Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel, said: “It is clear that the grooming and sexual abuse of children by groups of offenders is an urgent problem across England and Wales.
“This hugely important investigation will examine the current strategies in place to prevent this type of child sexual exploitation and see what more can be done about it in future.”
Evidence was heard from victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation and representatives of police forces, local authorities, government departments and charities.