Local residents will now have heard of the findings from Alexis Jay’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham.
The scale of the brutality and violence acted out on our young people in the Rotherham Borough has shocked all of us. In the past 16 years I have only been approached for help by one family whose daughter was a victim. This was because of the frustration they had with the police investigation. When I contacted South Yorkshire Police they refused to have a meeting with me, the victim and her mum and dad, only agreeing to meet with me, which was obviously extremely unsatisfactory.
Earlier this week there was a statement in the House of Commons by the Home Secretary on the Rotherham abuse scandal. I raised the details of the above case just to share the frustrations of all concerned. As I said during the statement, the day to day work of the police is not for politicians.
I have kept in touch with the family and met them in Westminster when they were campaigning against sexual exploitation with a national charity. The victim and her father were afforded an opportunity to give evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee in January 2013. The father told the hearing that he had asked for my assistance and praised me for my swift action.
The abuse by her attackers and subsequent failure of response by the very agencies whose role it was to protect her, turned out to be a widespread situation and just the tip of the iceberg in terms of child sexual exploitation.
Rotherham Borough Council and all of the relevant support agencies must now work together to bring the perpetrators of these dreadful crimes to account and to put into place procedures to minimise the levels of activity of these child abusers.
A week ago I asked that there should be a full independent inquiry into the police involvement in the scandal. I am pleased to see that this has been accepted and will happen.