THE last few weeks have been another reminder about how difficult it is to talk about child abuse and child protection, and how important that conversation still is three years on from the publication of the Jay Report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, writes Chris Read, Rotherham Council leader.
The report, which had been commissioned by Rotherham Council, revealed in graphic detail how at least 1,400 children, mostly white girls, had been victims of CSE over a thirteen-year period.
The perpetrators were mostly men from what Professor Jay described as the “Pakistani heritage community”, a formulation more common in academia than on the streets of Rotherham.
Understandably the report made headlines around the world.
The council, and in many ways the town and its community, are still healing. Twenty criminals have been sentenced to nearly 300 years in prison for what are termed “non-recent” offences.
The National Crime Agency have arrested a further 24 men, bringing the first charges against seven of them.