A new report released on Tuesday reveals an appalling account of 1,400 children from a northern England town who were sexually exploited between 1997 and 2013. According to BBC News on Aug 27, these children were tortured, beaten, raped and trafficked in the town of Rotherham, a place that some 250,000 people call home.
This report details how these “1,400 children were exploited by Asian gangs and authorities turned a blind eye,” reports the Telegraph. A former chief social worker adviser to the Scottish government, Alexis Jay, who was the author of the report cites the “collective failures of political and officer leadership” for these astounding crimes.
The investigation that lead to the disturbing statistics in this town originated in 2010 when lengthy jail terms were given to five men after being found guilty of grooming teens for sex. This started the ball rolling for an investigation that turned into such a disturbing reveal that grown adults are finding the report hard to read. The report details the atrocities thrust upon the town’s innocent children, as reported in MSN News.
The BBC News reports that kids as young as 11 were raped by numerous perpetrators. The children were trafficked to other cities in England after being abducted. A victim of this sexual abuse told BBC that at the time he was a victim of these horrific crimes, “I was a child and they [authorities] should have stepped in.”
The report has prompted Roger Stone, who has been council leader since 2003 to step down. He said he would leave his post immediately in light of this new report. “I believe it is only right as leader if I take responsibility for the historic failings described so clearly.” Apologies are plentiful from council members today, but the damage has been done.
Included in the crimes cited in this report are children being doused by gasoline while they were threatened with being lit on fire. They were threatened with guns along with forcibly made to watch violent rapes while being told they would be the next in line.
“Front line social workers” suggested that “things were amiss,” but authorities failed to act. The investigation into why the authorities didn’t act on this information concluded with alarming findings.
Jay claims that the police “regarded many child victims with contempt.” He also added that the first report that detailed what was happening in Rotherham with these children was “effectively suppressed” and this was done because the senior officers didn’t believe what the data indicated.
Another finding in this report is that many of the victims described the perpetrators as “Asian.” Concerns of being labeled “racist,” along with the mindset that this would just “go away,” kept the investigators from engaging in the town’s Pakistani community when they should have been investigating these claims.
Jay said “It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse the child victims suffered.” The report will hopefully bring about change, but it is too late for the 1,400 children, the number cited in the report as the past victims of these atrocious crimes.
According to the BBC, more apologies came from the council today, but Jay said “It’s too late." Most would agree that he is correct, the damage is done and this is something that will stay with these kids the rest of their lives. Apologies are nothing in the scope of these crimes.