Joyce Thacker’s final report for Rotherham Council has revealed the town’s continuing struggles with child sexual exploitation.
The update going to the council’s cabinet today said there are currently 47 open cases being dealt with by the town’s social care child sexual exploitation team.
The majority of the children involved are girls, with five boys among the 47.
| Joyce Thacker - Ex Strategic |
Director of Children's Services
Rotherham Council have refused to comment on whether Ms Thacker received a pay-off.
The number of open cases has fallen from 69 in March, 2013, to 51 this March and 47 by the end of June.
The Jay report, which estimated at least 1,400 children had been victims of sexual exploitation between 1997 and 2013, said there had been ‘many improvements’ in how the issue was being dealt with by the council and police, despite ‘blatant’ failings between 1997 and 2009.
But it warned problems had not been solved.
“The abuse is not confined to the past but continues to this day,” it said.
Ms Thacker’s report, which looks at council efforts to tackle exploitation in the first three months of the financial year, said the Jay report had attracted ‘national and international interest’.
It said: “Child sexual exploitation has had extensive national media attention. Rotherham has featured in this from both positive and negative perspectives.”
The report said one of the key strategies for tackling the town’s child sexual exploitation problem was bringing together organisations such as its CSE team, community service, youth and health workers to work with each other at the council’s headquarters Riverside House.
It said: “This will allow improved joint working not only for child sexual exploitation but also for domestic abuse, anti-social behaviour and the wider safeguarding children agenda.”
Muslim Youth Organize Rally to Protest Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham Today
Hundreds of people turned out in support of a Muslim youth group protest against child sexual exploitation in Rotherham today.
Speeches denounced the scandal which involved 1,400 victims of child sexual abuse in the town between 1997 and 2013 and protesters from the British Muslim Youth group gathered to make their voices heard.
The demonstration, involving about 200 people, passed peacefully and no arrests were made. While I applaud the British Muslim Youth group for arranging this demonstration, it is very disappointing that in a town of more than a quarter million, only 200 people showed up. Is that an indication that the people of Rotherham are still mostly indifferent to the abuse of these children? I certainly hope not.
|Rotherham Town Hall where demonstration occurred|
But those protesting spoke out against the abuse and called for ‘justice’ for the victims.
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the British Ramadhan Foundation, said: “The grooming gangs have not only brought shame on themselves and the community but have damaged the lives of so many promising young girls.
“We want to see justice, we want to see justice for the victims and we want to see the community come together to say ‘not in our name’.
“There has been utter systematic failings in South Yorkshire Police. We want to see the system that has failed these girls changed so that people believe the victims rather than labelling them as ‘prostitutes’ or a ‘lifestyle choice.’”
“The system has to be changed. I don’t know whether the people who have resigned did so because they are really sorry. Pfft! Are you serious?
“We all need to work together on this.”
A week ago, an EDL rally held in Rotherham which was also speaking out against child sexual exploitation resulted in four arrests.
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “South Yorkshire Police would like to thank the community in Rotherham following a peaceful demonstration in the town centre today (Saturday 20 September).
“A group of people from the British Muslim Youth and other organisations held a static demonstration outside the Town Hall earlier today.
“The demonstration passed peacefully and without any disruption. No arrests were made.
“The group dispersed at around 4.30pm. Extra police officers were on duty in the town to ensure the safety of the public and those taking part in the protests.
“Officers overseeing the policing of today’s event would like to thank the public of Rotherham and those taking part for their co-operation.”