Child sex abuse 'continuing' in Rochdale despite high profile prosecution of nine Asian men for exploiting young girls
Tuesday 06 November 2012
Young teenagers continue to be sexually exploited in Rochdale – months after the high profile prosecution of nine Asian men for the exploitation of young girls caused national outrage, a parliamentary committee has been told.
Police and social services failed to protect more than a 100 suspected child victims of sexual exploitation in Rochdale between 2005 and 2011, despite a specialist sexual health team “telling everybody” in children’s services, the Home Affairs Select Committee has been told.
The evidence was given by social worker Sara Rowbotham, team leader of Rochdale’s Crisis Intervention Team and sexual health improvement specialist, as part of the committee’s inquiry into localised children grooming trigged by the Rochdale scandal.
Ms Rowbotham said the failures in Rochdale went back much further than previously reported - to at least to 2004.
She said the failures were down to “the attitudes towards teenagers… these vulnerable young people did not have a voice… they were treated awfully by protective services.”
Committee chairman Keith Vaz said he was “very concerned” to hear that Ms Rowbotham’s team had been cut by half over the past three years. “If there are any repercussions as a result of coming to the committee, please tell us immediately,” said Mr Vaz.
The committee also heard evidence from the former chief executive of Rochdale Council, who insisted that neither he nor the head of children services were aware of any child sexual exploitation until 2010. He first learned about the scandal was when the nine men were arrested in 2010, Roger Ellis told an incredulous committee, but still did not commission any kind of internal inquiry.
Mr Ellis said: “As a chief executive I feel responsible for everything that goes on in my local authority, whether I know about it or not. I feel a deep sense of responsibility, regret and embarrassment but I do not feel personally culpable because…I do not think I could have done anything differently with the information I had.”
He would not disclose his final pay-out from the council this year because of a gagging clause, and when asked if he would consider returning it, he said: “No because I don’t feel any sense of personal responsibility.”
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more