Police are in talks with doctors to access teenagers’ sexual health records in a move to tackle sex gangs.

Officers believe a spike in the number of tests being sought in one area could be an early indication of an active sex gang.

The move comes after nine men were jailed last month after being found guilty of organising a child sex ring.

Manchester police hope that obtaining city-wide chlamydia and gonorrhea screening tests for under-25s from sexual health screening databases could help spot any areas being targeted by gangs.

They believe the move could help launch investigations much sooner.

But, according to The Independent, police still face a fight to convince doctors because of concerns over patient confidentiality and fears it could deter young people from getting tested.

Discussions are still at an early stage as to whether police access will be granted to the record which can currently only be viewed by doctors.

The database details the date of each test taken, what was screened for, the patient’s age group, the broad area they come from and their ethnicity.

One officer close to the negotiations told the newspaper: ‘The ability for police to be able to speak in confidence and with confidence to doctors would assist us.

‘There are opportunities for us to intervene more effectively and quickly if we have all the information. There are [legal] structures in which that information can be exchanged, assessed and acted upon which will not breach the law. If we could build confidence among health professionals, it would be a huge step forward for us.’

The discussions follow a further two men being arrested last week in connection with a child sex ring in Rochdale.

The men, both 33, were held on suspicion of rape and sexual assault before being bailed.

It comes after the jailing of nine men, eight of Pakistani origin and one Afghan, last month for a total of 77 years for organising a child sex-ring in the town.

The gang were found guilty of offences including rape and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child after Liverpool Crown Court heard that they’d exploited girls as young as 13.

The court was told the group plied their victims with drink and drugs and ‘passed them around’ for sex.

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.