From: Holmes, Tracy
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2013 05:19 PM GMT Standard Time
Subject: STATEMENT TO THE TIMES – CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
The Leader has asked me to share with you the statement below which is the Council’s response to the press announcement made today by the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
Rotherham Council welcomes the announcement by Commissioner Wright of the three pronged enquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation.
We are working closely with South Yorkshire Police and in January this year asked them to conduct a historical review of all potential cases of sexual exploitation that have taken place within the borough. To assist in this historical review the Council has already commenced its own internal enquiry of all cases from the time. We want this process to lead to justice and closure for the young people involved and their families and will release any material required by the police. All agencies involved need to fully understand exactly what went wrong.
The Council has said that its services to safeguard young people prior to 2009 were simply not good enough and has issued a public apology to all young people and their families who were let down.
The end of 2009 was a watershed moment for the Council. Services for safeguarding young people were placed in Government intervention and we consider this level of scrutiny to be in effect an external review. An Improvement Board, including Government Officials and external experts sat in Rotherham throughout 2010 and the early part of 2011. The Improvement Board conducted a thorough review of services to safeguard young people and it oversaw the implementation of a series of significant changes. There is clear evidence, accepted by the government, that in consecutive years safeguarding improvements have been sustained and successful. These improvements to safeguarding policy and practice have created a culture that is wholly unrecognisable from that which existed ten years ago.
As a Council the safeguarding of young people is our highest priority. We see the exploitation of our young people as a crime that must not be overlooked or forgotten and will pursue each and every case to ensure that justice is done in Rotherham. At the same time we will continue to look for improvements to our services so that the people of Rotherham can feel assured that children are protected from the elements of society that would do them harm.
We do not want to let our young people down again.
Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing
Chief Executive’s Department
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
01709 822735 (office) 07771 941415 (mobile)
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