A teenage girl from Swansea was trafficked and sexually exploited by organised criminal gangs in exchange for drugs while an 11-year-old girl in the city reported having five or six sexual partners, an abuse inquiry heard.

An independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation by organised networks heard evidence from survivors in Swansea as it examined the current nature and scale of the issue in the city and looked at the extent to which institutions and organisations have failed to protect children from sexual abuse.

The inquiry heard evidence from a teenage girl from the Swansea area who had been "collected by a taxi and taken to another city where she was sexually exploited by a gang member in exchange for cocaine".

The teenager's mum was alleged to owe £2,000 to drug dealers in Liverpool and the inquiry heard after supplying them with her daughter's phone number the girl was sexually exploited "to pay off her mum's drug debt".

A statement detailed: "Evidence suggests that she was trafficked to other parts of the country and exploited by organised criminal gangs at the age of 17.

"When she was 17 her phone number was given by her mother to drug dealers who contacted her and sexually exploited her in different parts of the country.

"She disclosed to police that she had been trafficked and exploited and that the alleged perpetrator still had the key to her flat. She was recorded as living in fear for her life."

A 14-year-old boy from Swansea was groomed by a registered sex offender who was allowed to visit his family home, the panel was also told.

"His family had been befriended by a registered sex offender who had given him and his mother gifts," the inquiry heard. "His parents knew that he served a prison sentence but did not disclose this to social workers.

"His parents had been going back and fore to the offender's home and he had entered their home.

"The child had not disclosed sexual abuse but after the offender appeared in court he said that he hated that the offender 'had done this to other people'."

One teenage girl whose evidence was read to the panel was said to have had "five or six sexual partners from the age of 11".

The young girl was reported to be going to a woman's home with other children where men were also present. On one occasion she returned home "under the influence of drugs".

The inquiry heard she had told her mother that she had "been with Romanian men and that she might disappear" and that "neither the police or social care would be able to find her".

A statement read to the panel said: "She was regarded as high risk and she was noted to have an older boyfriend who was controlling her.

"Concerns were expressed that she may be taken advantage of sexually and was associating with males that might put her at risk.

"She disclosed that from the age of 11 she had five or six sexual partners who were males between the age of 11 and 16 and she disclosed more harmful sexual behaviour involving herself and children her own age.

"It was reported that she had distributed nude pictures of herself when aged 12 and was referred to children's social care for this reason."

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse panel, chaired by professor Alexis Jay, heard that during 2019 there were 74 incidents of child sexual exploitation reported in Swansea.

Julie Thomas, head of children's services at Swansea council, told the hearing that between April 2017 and March 2019 there were 244 strategy discussions held in the city to discuss the risk of sexual exploitation.

Of those the overwhelming majority related to female victims with just 27 discussions relating to male victims.

Henrietta Hill QC, deputy counsel to the inquiry, asked Ms Thomas what action was taken by Swansea council specifically in response to the 14-year-old boy who had been groomed by a sex offender.

"Our understanding is that one of the responses from the local authority was to arrange a group sexual health talk at the child's school," she said.

Ms Thomas responded: "That might have been part of the response but it certainly wasn't the whole response."

South Wales Police chief superintendent Daniel Richards confirmed to the panel that in the Swansea area around 90% of child sexual exploitation victims were female.

A document outlining the profile of victims and perpetrators showed that the victims were predominantly aged between 11 and 16 and that 75% of the perpetrators were male and aged between 20 and 51.

Responding to the evidence heard from the young girl who reported having "five or six sexual partners" from the age of 11, chief superintendent Richards confirmed that investigations were carried out to try and identify an organised criminal gang.

"Our response to this with regard to the possible existence of an organised criminal gang involving Romanian males was that we did research around Romanian males to try and establish the network," he said.

He confirmed that the girl later explained that the "allegation regarding Romanian males was not true".

Specifically referencing organised networks, chief superintendent Richards confirmed that as of October 30 last year there were no live cases of child sexual exploitation by organised networks being investigated by South Wales Police.

He Richards said: "There's no data to support suggestions that there is a gang-related child sexual exploitation issue within the Swansea area.

"There's no reactive investigation but there is a great deal of proactive intelligence development."