Rotherham has been awarded White Ribbon status in recognition of its contribution and ongoing efforts to tackle domestic abuse. The White Ribbon campaign is an international movement created by a group of men, for men, who pledge to work together to end violence against women. To obtain White Ribbon status, the town had to demonstrate the ongoing commitment of communities, businesses and partners to tackling domestic abuse.
An Ofsted report released today has rated children services in Rotherham as 'inadequate.'
The report criticised leadership and management services, saying that senior managers "do not ensure that they have sufficient oversight of the quality of practice."
It also criticises arrangements to tackle child sexual exploitation as being "fragmented" and says that social workers do not see children frequently enough.
There are widespread or serious failures that result in children being harmed or at risk of harm. In the delivery of services for looked after children and care leavers these failures result in the welfare of these children not being safeguarded and promoted. Leaders and managers have not been able to demonstrate sufficient understanding of failures and have been ineffective in prioritising, challenging and making improvements.
South Yorkshire Police say they are "absolutely committed to assisting" the IPCC after the watchdog confirmed ten officers were being investigated over handling of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
The force has met with the IPCC and remains absolutely committed to assisting them with their independent investigation in any way we can to ensure the full facts are established relating to any alleged misconduct.
We will fully co-operative with the investigation into the force's handling of child sexual exploitation and anyone found to have not acted appropriately will be held to account.
The Commissioner of the Independent Police Complaints Commission has said she hopes the investigation into 10 police officers is seen as a "positive step" for Rotherham abuse victims and their families.
Kathryn Stone said: "The amount of public concern across the country about this episode and the impact on confidence in the police means it is important that a fully independent investigation is conducted to establish how South Yorkshire Police dealt with child sexual exploitation.
"I sincerely hope that victims and their families will see this investigation as a positive step towards answering the many questions they must have.
"I have met with South Yorkshire Police and am reassured by their commitment to fully cooperate with the investigation."
The Local Government Association say they will call for an independent inquiry after a government report criticised watchdog Ofsted over its role of protecting children in Rotherham.
Protecting children from harm is one of the most important things that councils do. While some local authorities are making positive strides to protect young people, it’s clear that others have been too slow to step up to the plate and must do more to stop any cases where children could be at risk.
This report makes for uncomfortable reading and councils across the country will now be reflecting on its implications and asking questions of their staff to ensure we are doing everything possible to protect each and every child.
Preventing child sexual exploitation is incredibly complex but local authorities are not going to be able to tackle this vile crime in isolation, it needs to become everyone’s business.
We need to see better local working with the police and NHS to proactively review the processes used every day to keep children and young people safe. Schools, GP’s surgeries, charities and community groups also have a vital role in identifying and reporting any cases where children could be at risk.
In addition, councils, communities and parents need to have confidence in the Ofsted inspection regime and its role in protecting children. The LGA has called for an independent review to discover what has gone wrong with the inspectorate. It’s also vital that we move towards a process that is able to properly assess the contribution of all agencies in keeping children safe.
The exploitation of children for sexual or any other abuse has no place in society. There are lessons in this report for every community and we must all work together to stamp out this awful crime."
- During a child protection conference an officer is alleged to have argued against the category of sexual abuse being used because he thought that the child had been 100% consensual in every incident. This allegation relates to one officer.
- Intelligence records from June 2001 record that a named suspect was threatening a family and actively involved in encouraging the victim to engage in prostitution. There appears to be no police activity directed around the named suspect's offending. No officer(s) have yet been identified in relation to this allegation.
- Allegation that evidence was lost in relation to a report that between 9 March 2003 and 3 April 2003, a victim had been raped on four occasions. The offender was named and arrested. This allegation relates to one officer.
- Allegation of a failure to progress an investigation into a report from a 14-year-old girl that she had been raped by an unknown male at an unknown location in Rotherham. Allegation relates to three officers.
- Allegation of a failure to adequately investigate an incident in which a young girl was found drunk in the back of a car and an individual had indecent photographs of her on his mobile phone. Allegation relates to two officers.
- An allegation of a failure to adequately investigate naked images of a young girl and possible evidence of group offending. This allegation relates to two officers.
- Allegations surrounding the police response to information supplied in 2001 highlighting concerns regarding CSE issues in Rotherham. Allegation of lack of police action in response to two reports, one in 2003 entitled Sexual Exploitation, Drug Use and Drug Dealing: Current Situation in South Yorkshire and the other in 2006 entitled Violence and Gun Crime: Links with Sexual Exploitation, Prostitution and Drugs Markets in South Yorkshire. These allegations relate to one officer.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission today said it would investigate 10 South Yorkshire police officers over their handling of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
The officers are part of a group of 13 referred to the IPCC by South Yorkshire Police. The ten the IPCC is independently investigating were identified through Professor Alexis Jay's independent review of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
The other three officers were identified through a separate internal review by South Yorkshire Police. It has been decided that two do not justify an investigation involving the IPCC at this stage, while the status of the third remains under review.
The amount of public concern across the country about this episode and the impact on confidence in the police means it is important that a fully independent investigation is conducted to establish how South Yorkshire Police dealt with child sexual exploitation. I sincerely hope that victims and their families will see this investigation as a positive step towards answering the many questions they must have. I have met with South Yorkshire Police and am reassured by their commitment to fully cooperate with the investigation.
Child protection systems must be reviewed following alarming evidence that organised abuse is widespread in England MPs have said.Read the full story ›
MPs have called for child protection systems to be reviewed following alarming evidence that organised abuse is widespread in the wake of the Rotherham scandal.
Parliament's Communities and Local Government Committee has condemned Ofsted for failing to lift the lid on child exploitation in the town despite carrying out a series of inspections of the council.
Ofsted have now been ordered to give evidence to the committe, which is chaired by Sheffield MP Clive Betts