26 September 17
Grooming ring probe at Glasgow's four corners after teenagers 'exploited for sex' by groups of men
A PROBE has been launched into an alleged grooming ring targeting teenagers in Glasgow’s city centre.
Girls as young as 14 are thought to have been targeted by men hanging around the four corners area of the city - at the junction of Argyle Street and Union Street.
Officers are investigating the claims after relatives of one of the victims contacted the authorities.
A social work source told the Evening Times the area is “rife” with child exploitation problems.
One of the victims, a 17-year-old girl, is understood to have been taken to houses in Govanhill and Dennistoun for sex with multiple men, but believes the man who took her there was her boyfriend.
The man was introduced to the girl at the four corners when she was 15.
A concerned relative, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, said: “It isn’t just [my relative] who was targeted, other girls were involved too.
“The police have interviewed me on camera and social work, and have interviewed [the victim]as well.
“She’s 17 now though and she’s been brainwashed. She thinks this guy is her boyfriend and won’t say what has happened to her.
The girl is said to have been taken to a house in Craigielea Street in Dennistoun for sex with men, along with other teenagers.
The relative said: “This really is just our worst nightmare, it’s this Rochdale and Rotherham-type stuff but it’s happening here in Glasgow in a big way.
“Nobody seems to be doing anything to stop it, all the girls have been made to believe these men are their boyfriends.
“ Its white females they are hitting on, aged 14 to 19.
“I’ve been down to the four corners and watched them all sitting on the fences and chatting up the girls.”
The relative said she contacted the parents of another girl who she believes was involved, and said: “I went to [the victim’s] friend’s door, the mother was affronted.
“The lassie came out and said the man was her boyfriend, and he was just 17. He looks about 25, if not older.
“This needs to stop.”
A police spokesman confirmed they had received a report of concern for a 17-year-old girl and enquiries are continuing into the circumstances.
A spokesman for Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership said :“It would be inappropriate to comment on an on-going police inquiry.
“However, in general, we are working very closely with partners to address the challenge of child sexual exploitation in Glasgow.
“There is a clear focus on child sexual exploitation within the city’s Child Protection Committee and information is routinely shared among the agencies represented on the committee.
“There is a very constructive relationship among all child protection partners in Glasgow that is helping to protect those at risk of child sexual exploitation and bring perpetrators to justice.”