RMBC admits failure!

This from a statement attributed to the Deputy Leader of RMBC Cllr Jahangir Ahktar:

“We have considerably strengthened arrangements in Rotherham following concerns that some licensed private hire / hackney carriage drivers were associated with suspected Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).”

So if I interpret the civic waffle RMBC had historically failed to apply appropriate levels of governance and scrutiny to the taxi trade in Rotherham.

What if Andrew Norfolk had not exposed RMBC for what it is, a weak, uncaring council would RMBC even bothered to take steps to protect the public from individuals with dubious backgrounds?

It would be very interesting to know, if any Taxi or private hire driver has appealed to overturn a licensing decision to remove their license and if any Councillors lobbied for the return of the license.

 Cerberus.

Cerberus

12 thoughts on “RMBC admits failure!

  1. I think you will find that during the time Akhtar was suspended from the Labour Party for his violent crime, he was the spokesman and advocate for Taxi Drivers applying for licenses. I wonder if any of the drivers he represented have been involved in the scandal in any way! Now that would be a turn up for the books wouldn’t it.

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  2. Full statement from the Deputy Leader Cllr Jahangir Akhtar:

    “Training

    The training session held on the 5th December was the first of a number which were due to be repeated early in 2013. Three more sessions have now been arranged for dates in February and March when its anticipated the remaining councillors will attend one of these sessions.

    The sessions will be delivered jointly by the Manager of The RMBC sexual exploitation team and SY Police. The training is designed to be interactive and allow time for questions and debate so is best delivered in small groups of around 16 participants. There was never any intention of delivering this type of “training” to a room of 63 members at one go and it was always our intention to deliver this type of training in the way described above

    Question Re licensing
    We have considerably strengthened arrangements in Rotherham following concerns that some licensed private hire / hackney carriage drivers were associated with suspected Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). We have required enhanced level checks from the Disclosures and Barring Service (and its predecessor organisation) as a matter of course for many years. However, in recent years we have strengthened the links between the Safeguarding Children Board and the Licensing Authority and the officers that support both, to ensure that information regarding any potential risks of harm to children or adults is shared between departments in an effective and expedient manner.
    To supplement this, we also hold regular Responsible Authority meetings which engage all the appropriate responsible bodies including senior representatives from the Licensing Team and the Manager of the Safeguarding Children Board. Information regarding child protection issues is shared at this meeting if it relates to any licensed premises or individuals (including taxi and private hire drivers).
    In addition, Rotherham MBC Licensing have been leading on a county wide initiative to introduce a training package that covers adult and child safeguarding issues, (including CSE). It is anticipated that this training will be delivered to all new hackney carriage / private hire driver licence applicants as part of the application process. The issuing of a licence will be dependent on the successful completion of this training.
    In the last few years, there have been four cases where we had concerns relating to a child safeguarding or sexual exploitation matter. All four drivers had urgent action taken against them to prevent them acting as taxi drivers. On receipt of information, three drivers were immediately suspended. The fourth prospective driver had a licence application refused by the Licensing Board on the basis of historical information relating to CSE. None of these individuals now operate as taxi drivers in Rotherham. Of these four, one driver subsequently had his licence revoked by the Licensing Board, a second remains suspended pending further investigation, the third voluntarily surrendered his licence and the fourth driver appealed the Licensing Board’s decision at the Magistrate’s Court, however the Court dismissed the appeal.

    Finally I challenge anyone to produce a single piece of evidence to support the outrageous allegations that ” certain aggressive cllrs stopped investigation” These allegations are total lies.”

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    • Funny how the 2nd paragraph is almost identical to the opening of Maggie Godfreys statement. It looks like they were all issued with a crib sheet at the start of this “course” to try and side-step any tricky questions by the public. As for the rest of this rubbish published by this suspect individual, can we all sleep soundly in our beds knowing that our children are perfectly safe when travelling in a Rotherham private hire or hackney carriage? I think not! Would you trust this man?

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  3. ASBO Akhtar lives up to his nickname:

    “Finally I challenge anyone to produce a single piece of evidence to support the outrageous allegations that ” certain aggressive cllrs stopped investigation” These allegations are total lies.”

    No doubt he has his customary 300 witnesses to his side of the story?

    This man has become a complete laughing stock throughout the borough, including the Lubyanka, it now seems! Wonder what other foolishness he can get up to?

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  4. It was stated that there were over 600 suspected incidents of child grooming in Rotherham, over a 10 year period( that’s more than one a week) yet incredibly there was only one prosecution! A lot of the perpetrators are walking freely, or should that be driving with impunity, around this town!

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  5. The RMBC statement is part of a wider media damage limitation exercise that aims to deflect the failings of the council onto other organizations and individuals.

    The reference to the training is as a direct result of the Advertiser article stating that only thirteen councillors had volunteered for the child sexual exploitation awareness raising sessions

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  6. Unusual don’t you think, for ASBO to refer to himself and Moofy thus, “certain aggressive cllrs”

    Bullies and thugs, more like! By the time these two have made their wishes known, no one would want to challenge them.

    They bring utter disgrace to their public offices!

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  7. Always worth triangulating what RMBC says, this from a SYP press statement:

    Times: Taxis were used to target and take the victims to addresses in Rotherham and further afield. Takeaway shops features prominently. Girls were also “collected from outside schools, bus and train stations, residential homes and homeless projects”.

    SYP: The Public Protection Unit in Rotherham works closely with a number of agencies, including Taxi Licensing. As a result of this work, a number of taxi drivers in Rotherham have had their licenses revoked around concerns regarding the sexual exploitation of children.

    There we have it, it`s not a lie or a half truth, it’s a fact, Taxis were used in Rotherham to transport children to their abusers!

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  8. I couldn’t agree more Anonymous. Talking abour cover ups. in the Wikipedia report Lord Ahmed is stated as saying “this issue was a new phenomenon within the Asian community”. Who is he trying to kid? This has been going on for years and years within the Asian community and covered up by the likes of Ahmed, Akhtar and Hussain all in the name of “Community Cohesion” whatever that is. More like using Race Relations legislation to prevent anyone challenging them and to allow their fellow Asians to carrying on abusing our children.

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  9. A view from Labour MP David Winnick who said at the recent select committee hearing “the general impression” is that those alleged to be involved with child abuse in Rotherham “have been able to get away with their vile activity, without sufficient pressure from the authorities”.

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  10. It seems that certain Rotherham councillors continue to be more obsessed with their own reputations and interests than prioritising the safeguarding of children from violent criminals. Whilst some action is better than none, it is all reaction to criticism and not proactive initiatives. Where is the promised public awareness campaign, for example. Where is a review of cases to look with fresh eyes for victims of this hideous form of abuse? It seems RMBC still have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to doing the right thing for these children. Meanwhile, how many more girls are still enduring torture and rape at the hands of criminal gangs.

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  11. By the way – a philosophical, nevertheless vital point: Training cannot induce moral transformation – it only adds knowledge. RMBC need the political and moral will to tackle the issue…David Winnick’s opinion adds to the impression that it was lacking… Do they still “get it”?
    Can anyone point me to evidence of a high profile and dynamic campaign against sex grooming in Rotherham? I thought RMBC had a dedicated anti-grooming unit? It is not obvious on their website quote: “You searched for anti grooming unit. Sorry, no results were found.” Info on how to license your taxi, on the other hand, is fairly easy to find!

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