Detectives are looking into 171 possible cases of child sexual exploitation in South Yorkshire, new figures reveal.
Of the 171 ‘active’ cases, 44 centre around Rotherham, where an independent report found 1,400 children had been abused by largely Pakistani men over 16 years while those in authority turned a blind eye.
The figures emerged on the day Vejuhadin Ghorbani, aged 37, of Park Mount, Rotherham, was jailed for three years for luring three young girls to his flat.
He plied them with alcohol and made repeated references to sexual activity but did not touch the youngsters.
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Bringing offenders to justice is a priority for the force.
“Our staff will relentlessly go wherever the evidence takes them and do everything they can to identify offenders and put them before the courts.
“We will always make arrests and seek to charge people with offences when we have enough evidence.
“We will use all available legislation to reduce the burden on the victim and support them throughout the investigation, as we understand how difficult it can be for victims to come forward.”
Meanwhile, a former senior official at children’s care watchdog Ofsted has apologised for the organisation’s failure to uncover widespread sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
John Goldup, who joined Ofsted as director of social care in 2009 and was appointed deputy chief inspector in 2012, said the watchdog did not focus on the dangers of child sex exploitation in inspections in Rotherham.
Giving evidence to the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee, Mr Goldup said: “It is clear from reading back over the inspection reports that we didn’t appreciate the scale of the child sexual exploitation issue in Rotherham and we didn’t scrutinise sufficiently the effectiveness with which it was being responded to.”
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