Police stop suspected 'child sex party' at kebab shop in Bethnal Green
PUBLISHED: 16:44 06 July 2018 | UPDATED: 18:04 06 July 2018
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Underage girls were at "serious risk" of being abused at a "sex party" in the back of a kebab shop in Bethnal Green, police have said.
The Met’s Sexual Exploitation Team tipped off Tower Hamlets Police about an alleged “child sex party”, known as an “uck party”, which they said they believed was planned to take place at the business premises.
Uck parties involve young girls being plied with alcohol and drugs before having sex with older men, according to detectives.
Tower Hamlets Police said the event was advertised as a “smart and sexy” Halloween party and visited the shop on October 28 last year.
When police arrived at around 7pm they said they found staff putting up a “temporary wall” to separate the kebab counter and the small restaurant area.
In a statement PC Mark Perry said he spoke to the kebab shop owner and the party booker and told them the event could not happen.
According to licensing documents, when detectives visited the venue again a few hours later they found a group of men loitering outside awaiting the start of the party.
“The venue was quite busy and had about 30 people in the sectioned off area that had been set up for the party,” PC Perry said.
“These were mostly young men aged in their early 20’s. There were some 18-year-old girls also outside the venue. I felt that the people in the venue were waiting for us to leave so they could run their party, despite what we had told them.
But there was no evidence that girls under 16 were in attendance.
Tower Hamlets Council has since stripped it of its alcohol licence.
The business owners’ lawyers, said they “wholly condemn the heinous allegations” detailed in the police reports.
He said detectives “cannot substantiate that child sexual exploitation was taking place” in the venue.
A Tower Hamlets Council spokesman said its child protection team was alerted to the premises in January this year..
He added: “We treat the issue of child sexual exploitation with the utmost seriousness. Our safeguarding team is co-located with specialist police officers, increasing its effectiveness and ability to tackle and disrupt any activity which places young people at risk.”
A Met spokeswoman confirmed officers had attended the kebab shop and closed the event.