There are people who say that Kent is the capital of ‘Paedophilia UK’. The Rochdale Observer publishes: Full findings of sex grooming review will not be made public and spells out our questions for us (in bold):
A high-level review into child sexual exploitation in Rochdale will not be made public, town hall chiefs have revealed.
Rochdale council chief executive Jim Taylor said the authority is only planning to publish an executive summary of the report for the public to see.
The full report – which was called to explore how the council dealt with allegations of sexual exploitation following the conviction of nine men in June for grooming young girls for sex – will remain secret.
Prime Minister David Cameron has now warned he could call an independent serious case review if the council’s own report fails to deal with the issues.
In a letter to Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, Mr Cameron said it was ‘critically important’ that the council’s review ‘gets to the bottom’ of the problem.
He added: “If further steps appear to be necessary at a national level in the light of either review, including considering the need for a serious case review, the government will ensure appropriate action is taken.”
The council’s review of its internal procedures is expected to report back in the autumn.
A second review by Rochdale’s Safeguarding Children Board is expected before that.
Both reports are looking at how the authorities dealt with allegations of sexual abuse.
During the recent court case, which saw nine men jailed for a total 77 years for sexually exploiting girls, it emerged that some victims raised concerns as early as 2008 claiming they were being abused, but no action was taken against the perpetrators until 2010.
The council says it is reviewing a decade worth of notes to see if early warning signs were ignored.
Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk is also pressing for the council and Safeguarding Children Board to produce a ‘warts and all’ account of how girls were sexually exploited, to prevent it happening again.
Mr Danczuk said: “This was a horrendous case of abuse and we need a full, transparent investigation to ensure that lessons are learned.
“I have said in Parliament that we cannot have a cover-up and that’s why I want the council to publish a full, warts and all report of what went wrong and why these young girls were not listened to.
“If the council refuses to do this, the public will quite rightly be asking ‘who are they trying to protect?’ and ‘what have they got to hide?’
“It will be a disgrace if their investigation is not fully published and I have had assurances from the Prime Minister that action will be taken if necessary.”
The Observer understands the council has made the decision to publish an executive summary because it believes the final report will need to have some information obscured because of the sensitivity of the case.
Jim Taylor, Rochdale council’s chief executive, said: “The council is taking a thorough look at internal processes, examining communications between services and how information is shared between agencies.
“We have already developed different ways of working, but I need to be confident that improvements have gone far enough, that we are doing everything we can to ensure that young people are protected and supported and that abusers are brought to justice quickly.
“The executive summary of the report will be published.”