More than 1,400 children suffered ‘appalling’ abuse in Rotherham for 16 years

More than 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013, a report has concluded. The abuse of children, some just 11 years old, has been described as “horrific”. The report also found it is “not confined to the past but continues to this day”. Roger Stone, leader of Rotherham Council, has stepped down following the publication of the report. In the summary of her findings, independent reviewer Alexis Jay OBE says: “It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that the victims suffered.”

They (the victims) were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated.

Independent reviewer Alexis Jay OBE

The report highlights a variety of historical and serious child protection failings and concludes the council and other agencies should have done more to protect those at risk. In just over a third of cases victims were previously known to services in the town because of child protection and neglect. Martin Kimber, Chief Executive of Rotherham Council, apologised for “letting down” the people affected. He said the review, which he commissioned, would ensure similar mistakes would never happen again - and said services had improved over the last five years.

There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made witness to brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone.

Alexis Jay OBE