Abuse Cases in British City Long Ignored, Report Says 1,400 Children in Rotherham, England, Were Sexually Abused, Report Says
By KATRIN BENNHOLD AUG. 26, 2014
LONDON — A report released on Tuesday on accusations of widespread sexual abuse in the northern England city of Rotherham found that about 1,400 minors — some as young as 11 years old — were beaten, raped and trafficked from 1997 to 2013 as the local authorities ignored a series of red flags.
Some children were doused in gasoline and threatened with being set on fire if they reported their abusers, the report said, and others were forced to watch rapes and threatened with the same fate. In more than a third of the cases, the victims appear to have been known to child protection agencies, but the police and local government officials failed to act....
Alexis Jay, the author of the report and a former chief inspector of social work, said that vulnerable girls as young as 11 and largely from disadvantaged backgrounds had been brutalized by groups of men.
“They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated,” she wrote.
The report described the failures of the political and police leadership as blatant. Even as social workers reported that the sexual exploitation of children was becoming a serious problem in Rotherham, senior managers in the local authority and South Yorkshire police ignored them. When victims came forward, Ms. Jay said, the police often regarded them “with contempt.”
Three earlier reports, published from 2002 to 2006, detailed the abuse, and according to Ms. Jay, “could not have been clearer in the description of the situation in Rotherham.” But the first one was “effectively suppressed” and the other two “ignored,” she said....
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham (1997 – 2013)
Independent inquiry CSE in Rotherham
Information relating to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham
27 August 2014
Rotherham child abuse: Calls for police commissioner to quit
1,400 children were abused, 1997-2013
+ 30% of victims were already known to social services
157 reports concerning child sexual exploitation made to police in 2013
9 prosecutions were made
Source: Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham
Key findings of the report
Children as young as 11 were raped by multiple attackers, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated.
The "collective failures" of political, police and social care leadership were "blatant" over the first 12 years covered by the inquiry.
Police were said to have given child sex exploitation no priority, regarding many child victims "with contempt" and failing to act on their abuse as a crime.
The majority of those behind the abuse were described as Asian, while the majority of the reported victims were young white girls. The inquiry team noted fears among council staff of being labelled "racist" if they focused on victims' descriptions of the majority of abusers as "Asian" men.