Police investigation after 15 girls sexually exploited at Ilford station by drug dealers

The incident happened outside Ilford station on Friday, November 23.

The incident happened outside Ilford station on Friday, November 23. - Credit: Archant

Fifteen girls were being sexually exploited and groomed to sell drugs at Ilford station.

Redbridge police discovered the victims earlier this year.

The Met Police’s Child Sexual Exploitation team is now heading up the investigation to identify a wider network of exploitation radiating from the station which goes “further than borough boundaries”

Sgt Lee Wilkinson, of Ilford town centre police, wanted to reassure residents that the station has “never had a Rotherham scale of exploitation”.

“We are in a better place than at the start of the year and we are keeping pressure on the groups to make sure they can’t do it again,” he said.

“We have worked with the children, their parents, social service to safeguard the victims.

“Some families have moved out of the area to get away from it and some children have moved to different care homes.”

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The sergeant said the men at the station would become friendly with the girls, buying them presents and drinks over a period of time, before asking them to carry drugs for them.

Police have also issued 15 child abduction warning notices to individuals, mainly men, who are suspected of exploitation.

This means the exploiter is banned, with no exceptions, from associating with the mentioned child.