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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.

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Authorities didn't believe all Oxfordshire abuse victims

A new report today has revealed nearly 400 girls may have been victims of "indescribably awful child sexual abuse" in Oxfordshire and says authorities didn't believe some of the victims when they said they were being abused.

ITV News' Political Correspondent Emily Morgan reports on the findings of the serious case review which was released today:

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PM condemns 'industrial scale' of sex abuse at summit

David Cameron is holding a summit in Downing Street setting out measures to tackle the problem of the sexual abuse of vulnerable children by gangs of men.

He said children have suffered horrific sexual abuse on an "industrial scale" and that too many people and organisations are guilty of "walking on by".


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

MPs condemn authorities over child exploitation

The sexual exploitation of hundreds of girls in Oxfordshire should never have happened, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said as she criticised police and social workers for failing to protect them.

Ms Morgan described a highly critical serious case review which details a catalogue of errors by the authorities as an indictment of the failure of frontline workers to protect vulnerable young people over a number of years.

During a House of Commons debate Oxford East MP Andrew Smith condemned the actions of the authorities and their failure to prevent the exploitation.

Crimes against young girls: how hundreds of girls were let down by police and social services

Hundreds of girls in Oxfordshire have been drastically failed by police, health and social services.

Many feel the greatest tragedy in all this was the abuse was allowed to go on for so long, simply because the authorities failed to see a dangerous pattern. In fact - before 2011 - Oxfordshire had the smallest number of social workers of any county.

It was only when police and other agencies combined resources - in Operation Bullfinch - that the full horrifying picture emerged.

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