A young woman who says she was “voltaged and sold” in Hull has not been interviewed by police, despite a high-profile two-year investigation into grooming gangs in the area.
Kate (not her real name) claims to be the victim of a gang of sex addicts in the town of East Yorkshire.
Police did not recognize her name as it was provided by Sky News with her permission, though other alleged victims in the case say they were told about her.
Her testimony could reopen a case that has stalled after police failed to find enough evidence to support allegations from other women in Hull.
Kate told Sky News: “I ended up in Hull because of a gang of individuals who traded me for sexual exploitation.
“The place I remember the most was the Hessle Foreshore.
“I just remember being in the back of cars – just being raped and sold.”
Hessle Foreshore is a place that other girls mention as a place of abuse.
Kate also mentions some of the same people who are said to have been involved in the abuse who have been mentioned by other alleged victims.
Kate says she was about 15 years old when she was first traded to Hull, but that continued for a number of years.
It comes after two other alleged victims who lived locally told Sky News that they were abused as teenagers, including one who was only 13.
Sarah and Anna (not their real names) were both at the center of Operation Marksman, a two-year investigation by Humberside Police that unfolded earlier this year without any charges.
If Kate’s claims are true, it adds another dimension to the case and raises questions about the extent of the problem.
She says she was also taken to several other cities.
“The only way I can describe it is different hubs,” Kate told Sky News.
“So you wanted a local group in one area, but they were networking with other people in other areas.
“So what they would do is they would swap girls – and you would be that group for the night, for example, and then you would go back to yours – but there were ordinary people everywhere.”
Kate says she’s still considering whether to talk to the police.
It was a personal risk for the other women to come forward, and they provided further evidence; diaries and school accounts, Snapchats and photos supporting allegations that they have been threatened, beaten and strangled.
Some of them said they received threats after talking to police.
Humberside Police say they have made several arrests, but after seizing 150 units from suspects, they did not find enough evidence.
Detective Rebecca Dickinson told Sky News: “With 34 arrests, we seized over 150 electronic devices, and these devices consisted of cell phones, SIM cards, iPads, tower computers, everything with the digital footprint was seized and investigated within the force. And through external agencies. .
“There was no evidence of the apparatus we could present to seek charges in relation to sexual abuse. People were charged with drug crimes and other ancillary offenses, but not in relation to sexual assault against our victims.”
However, DCI Dickinson accepted that because criminals sometimes have multiple devices and allegedly used Snapchat to intimidate the young women, some of the evidence may not be obtainable.
“With Snapchat, it’s instant, right? It’s there and it’s gone,” the senior officer said.
“If we can not see it, we can not prove it.”
She added: “Getting something to the court that I’m sure you know is not easy. We have to get through the threshold of evidence first and foremost.
“In fact, it’s harder for us when we do not get that decision.
“So ‘have we done all the research we can?’ Yes. I’m convinced we have. “
DCI Dickinson said she was “disappointed and upset by the girls” that they could not get the evidence they needed.
“They have experienced some horrific offenses and they have put their trust in us,” she said.
“For us to deliver that message. It was heartbreaking.”
“If another victim shows up tomorrow, if we get another proof tomorrow, we’ll look at it again.”
After suggesting that Operation Marksman would not include people trafficked into Hull, Humberside Police later clarified that it would happen if they were abused by the same suspects in the same locations.
Kate is suspicious after talking to police forces about sexual abuse in other areas, but she has allowed Sky News to pass on her details to Humberside Police.
She said: “I think I would need some reassurance before I spoke to any police again, that I would not be pronounced like a liar, or that I am insane, or that I am a prostitute.
“I think they have a lot of work to do to regain confidence.
“I understand that there are problems with evidence.
“Even with phones, even with the medical examinations, it sometimes comes down to ‘he said, she said,’ but I think I would need more conviction that this was where they failed, rather than their mentality. opposite it. “
Psychologist Jo Wagstaff, who works with well-groomed young women, including one of the alleged victims in Hull, said: “I absolutely believe in them. Sitting with someone who describes the level of abuse, you can feel the pain, hurt, shame , guilt, guilt.
“I think unless these cases are taken seriously, we will not stop this.”
Sarah, the first victim Sky News mentioned in this case, insists she still wants justice.
She said: “I know if I stood in court and I can say this one million percent if I told my story to a court they would believe me.
“They would believe me because it’s not something you can just invent.”
The biggest fear for the people of Hull is that if what the young women say is true, it may well still happen – and therefore Sky News will continue to follow this story wherever it takes us next time.