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Community rebuilds reputation after Operation Bullfinch

A serious case review has found that more than 300 young people in Oxfordshire have been victims of child sexual exploitation over the last 15 years. The review has criticised police and social services.

Since Operation Bullfinch began, the community around Cowley Road in Oxford has been rebuilding its reputation as a multi-cultural street. Penny Silvester reports.


Joint statement from faith leaders after Serious Case Review findings

Faith leaders representing the diversity of religious traditions in Oxford (under the aegis of the Oxford Council of Faiths) and civic and community leaders have come together to offer a joint statement following the publication of the Serious Case Review findings.

We want to make it absolutely clear that child sexual exploitation is an abhorrent and wicked crime. It is contrary to the faith and teachings of all our religions. Our thoughts and prayers are with those young people, who have suffered through the crimes of others, and also with their families and carers, as they provide vital support to help the survivors rebuild their lives.

We must remember that it was through the courage and bravery of these young survivors of horrific abuse, speaking out and acting as witnesses in court, that the perpetrators of this wicked crime are behind bars. We hope that this has made the Oxford area a safer place.

The Serious Case Review findings point to systemic failings and the absence of joined-up thinking in the way key statutory bodies dealt with the cases of child sexual exploitation in Oxford. As we move forward together, we would urge the statutory bodies to continue to learn from past mistakes, and to ensure that robust systems develop still further to combat this wicked crime. We must all keep children and their safety at the centre of all that is done. We encourage victims of such crimes to come forward, not to suffer in silence but to speak out. We are determined that you will be heard and supported. We pledge to do all that we can to ensure that robust systems are in place and proper training provided within our communities, so as to ensure that we are all vigilant to the signs and symptoms of child abuse.

As faith and community leaders in Oxford, we renew our commitment to work in partnership with the police, the local authorities and all partner agencies to root out child sexual exploitation from our society.

– Faith Leaders' statement

Findings of child sex exploitation report to be announced at Oxford Hotel

The findings will be revealed at this hotel Credit: Mel Bloor

The hotel where the findings will be announced. A serious case review is expected to find that, over the last 15 years, more than 300 young people in Oxfordshire have been victims of child sexual exploitation.

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