From this weeks Advertiser, Muhbeen in a strop?
A COMMUNITY campaigner says the media scrum descending on Rotherham again in the wake of the Casey report threatened to undermine efforts to root out child sex abuse.
British Muslim Youth founder Muhbeen Hussain said there were some positive steps being made following the Jay report revelations last August.
But he said the international spotlight returning to Rotherham after the Casey inspection – and the lack of prosecutions – means many will overlook the achievements made.
Mr Hussain said: “After the Jay report, we held demonstrations against the council and police and other institutions that have failed us.
“Nearly six months have gone by and in this period there’s been some work been done with domestic violence group Apna Haq, Sarah Champion and Rotherham United.
“But there’s only so much the council could do with no chief executive or director of children and young people’s services.”
He added: “The voice came out and people were talking about this. We’re not offended by this. We want to see prosecutions, too, but the problem we’ve got is no arrests being made.
“We can’t arrest people, the council can’t arrest people. It’s down to the police.”
Mr Hussain suggested the Government intervention after Louise Casey found Rotherham Borough Council to be unfit for purpose could have been done more subtly.
He said: “Rotherham should not have been scapegoated again. Eric Pickles should have put these commissioners in to support the existing councillors.
“There was no need for the media limelight lambasting the town again. It doesn’t help.”
British Muslim Youth has said it cannot support the Casey report in full because of some omissions about its own efforts on child sexual exploitation.
Mr Hussain said: “We supported all the findings in the Jay report but we don’t support the full findings of this one.
“The problem we have is just with some aspects that haven’t been challenged .It’s based on hearsay, interviews and people’s opinions, not empirical evidence.
“One page says a councillor stopped young people going out against the English Defence League when they were demonstrating.
“That isn’t true. The councillor had a community meeting and at that meeting I said young people need to be told not to go out onto the streets.
“My organisation held meetings in 2012 when we called for young people not to turn up. We sent text messages out. That was us.
“But that’s not said in the report and that’s why I question some aspects of it.”