About 1,400 Rotherham children ‘sexually exploited over 16-year period’

‘About 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham over a 16-year period, according to a report that concluded “it is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered”.

The report on events in the town in South Yorkshire, between 1997 and 2013, found that in more than a third of these cases the youngsters were already known to child protection agencies. It said there had been “blatant” collective failures by the council’s leadership.

Council leader Roger Stone said: “Having considered the report, I believe it is only right that I, as leader, take responsibility on behalf of the council for the historic failings that are described so clearly in the report and it is my intention to do so.

“For this reason, I have today agreed with my Labour group colleagues that I will be stepping down as leader with immediate effect.”

Despite Stone’s resignation, chief executive Martin Kimber said no council officers will face disciplinary action.

Prof Alexis Jay, who wrote the report, said she found examples of “children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone”.

Jay said: “They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated.” She said she found girls as young as 11 had been raped by large numbers of men.

The report said failures of the political and officer leadership of Rotherham council over the first 12 years she looked at were blatant, as the seriousness of the problem was underplayed by senior managers and was not seen as a priority by South Yorkshire police. Jay said police “regarded many child victims with contempt”.’

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  • robertsonjames

    This is a model example of what’s wrong with journalism these days. You want the kudos of running a topical article that will engage readers. But you are too frightened to mention the most disturbing aspect of the story which also forms a key part of the explanation for why these crimes were able to happen in such numbers and for so long without the authorities taking any action to stop them.

    The large majority of the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes were a network of men from a particular ethnic minority, in fact the same ethnic minority that has been implicated in similar abuse rings in a number of other English cities which in each case were likewise covered up by local politicians and public employees for fear of being accused of “racism” or “cultural insensitivity” if they attempted to do anything about it.

    If you lack the courage to report the simple truth and feel an overpowering need to self-censor on the subject of the specifically ethnic dimension to these crimes, you are falling into exactly the same trap as those who looked the other way and were too frightened to confront the problem and seek justice for the victims when the evidence was brought to their attention. And you are certainly not suited to the profession of journalism.