Rotherham victims and families draw up new plan to tackle abuse

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A group of Rotherham child sexual exploitation survivors and their families have helped created a new national plan to help councils tackle grooming gangs.

The steering group, consisting victims, survivors and their families involved in the Rotherham scandal, are sending their recommendations to every council in the country, as well as to MPs.

The report is suggesting a series of measures to help tackle child sexual exploitation, including tougher taxi licensing policies and training for parents and teachers on how to spot the signs of grooming.

The group was brought together by Jayne Senior, the former manager of the Risky Business service which was the first organisation to warn of Rotherham’s child sexual exploitation problems.

It follows last year’s revelations by Professor Alexis Jay that at least 1,400 children were victims of abuse between 1997 and 2013.

A statement from the steering group said: “Rotherham is a testimony that child sexual exploitation has reached alarming proportions in the United Kingdom.

“Many believe that this is a phenomenon unique to Rotherham.

“However, historical and recent reports show that CSE does not recognise geographical boundaries nor does it respect creed, race or standing.

“It spreads easily across localities like a cancer, devouring our children, their families and their communities.

“We, as a steer group are proud to be a part of supporting Rotherham to move forward and make this a national project.”

Among the policies the group are calling for is for all taxis to be installed with CCTV - a police currently being implemented in Rotherham despite protests from some drivers.

Other ideas include more training in schools for students, teachers and parents about child sexual exploitation, as well as the establishment of a national database to help share intelligence about offenders.

The group said: “We would like to see these proposals be put into place in order to reduce the likelihood of others experiencing the horrific crimes recently brought to light.

“We feel that by implementing these measures, we can reduce CSE to a minimum.

“CSE is a nationwide problem that needs to be tackled robustly from all angles.

“This can only be achieved if we all unite.”