Rotherham Abuse Case Back In The Spotlight 12 Months On

Lawyer Welcomes Progress But Warns There Is More To Do

24.08.2015

Specialist child abuse lawyers have welcomed steps taken in the past 12 months to address the terrible concerns raised by the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal, but have warned there is much more progress to be made.

In August last year the publication of the Jay Report revealed an unprecedented scale of abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. The study commissioned by Rotherham Borough Council revealed that over 1,400 children, some as young as 11, are believed to have been affected by sexual exploitation.

It spoke of the "collective failures" of political, police and social care leadership over the first 12 years the inquiry covered.

After the report was published the council and South Yorkshire Police responded to the criticism with a number of high profile changes. The Police Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright, who was in charge of Rotherham’s children’s services between 2005 and 2010, resigned three weeks after the findings were first announced. There were also resignations at Rotherham Council after a report commissioned by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the authority was "not fit for purpose".

South Yorkshire Police now has a team of more than 60 officers working on child sexual exploitation and its joint operation with the council and Crown Prosecution Service, Operation Clover, is beginning to see suspected abusers brought before the courts in numbers. The National Crime Agency is also leading a separate investigation, known as Operation Stovewood.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission says it is investigating complaints against 42 South Yorkshire Police officers over the handling of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

Our child abuse lawyers are committed to pursuing cases to the best possible outcome, without causing any additional psychological trauma to those affected. Call 0370 150 100 to talk confidentially to someone about making a claim or visit our Abuse & Criminal Injury Claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
“A full year on from the publication of the report into child abuse and exploitation in Rotherham, the findings remain completely shocking and unacceptable.

“The scale and extent of the problems were so unprecedented that even now we are awaiting the outcome of multiple investigations that will likely reveal more harrowing details about the scarcely believable level of abuse.

“The focus however must remain on the victims, who after years of suffering in silence require counselling and support to try and rebuild their life.

“Unfortunately, this process is made all the more difficult by the on-going revelations and changes. It is positive to see that the South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham council have responded so thoroughly to the crisis but unfortunately for many people it is simply too late.

“Whilst this long process is crucial to ensure key lessons are learnt, the sad realisation is those directly affected will struggle for closure as the shocking scale of abuse continues to be uncovered.”

“The physical and psychological trauma victims must deal with is appalling and more must be done to ensure that vulnerable young people are protected and always have somewhere and someone to turn to.”
Luke Daniels, Partner