Rother Valley MP “shocked and disgusted” by report into Rotherham Child Sexual Exploitation
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Alexander Stafford reacted to a damning new report by Rotherham’s Conservative councillors, which alleges it found “multiple examples” of CSE in Rotherham, including girls being being mobile phones by older men and claims of “girls being sold for sex” from a petrol station and a takeaway shop.
A report by the Rotherham Conservatives working group, which was set up to “look into” claims of CSE, adds that this information has been passed to the police, and most information has been passed to the council.
However, the working group say they are “concerned that lack of confidence in the police is leading to under-reporting of suspicious activities, and that “internal council processes, including to protect whistleblowers, are inadequate”.
The group say that although they are “unable to verify all of these claims”, they are confident that they come from “reliable sources who work on the front line”.
Mr Stafford said: ” Recently, I met the leader of the Conservative group on RMBC, councillor Emily Barley, and a campaigner and survivor of CSE in Rotherham.
“I heard from councillor Barley and [the] survivor about what the Conservative working group on CSE claims to have uncovered since it was formed in May 2021.
“What I was told has shocked and disgusted me.
“The working group has found “multiple examples” of what they allege to be active grooming and CSE in “multiple locations” across Rotherham.
“Every piece of intelligence uncovered by the working group was passed to South Yorkshire Police, and examples were also passed to Rotherham Council.
“Victims in Rotherham have been failed once before.
“My fear is that they are still being failed.
“Tackling the abuse of children is not a political issue, it is a moral one, and RMBC need to tackle Child Sexual Exploitation head on, with proper processes that are reviewed frequently.”
Coun Barley, leader of the Rotherham Conservatives, has tabled a motion calling on Rotherham Council to tackle CSE, at their next meeting on November 10.
Mr Stafford’s petition is in support of the motion.
Rotherham Council say it takes all allegations of child abuse “very seriously”, adding: “Where intelligence is received relating to potential child sexual exploitation, this is reviewed on a regular basis, with police and social workers taking the necessary steps to safeguard children where necessary.”
South Yorkshire Police said that it is “absolutely clear” that CSE “remains a problem in Rotherham as it does right across the country,” adding that it has dedicated teams working to tackle the issues.