Sheffield work on child sex abuse is ‘innovative’

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Sheffield’s ‘innovative’ work tackling child sexual exploitation will be shared with others after a report praised city services.

The report on CSE services in Sheffield - commissioned after the Rotherham abuse scandal involving 1,400 victims - was discussed by city councillors this week.

It said city agencies were ‘advanced’ in their response to dealing with the crime but put forward 16 areas for development.

Dr Kathryn Houghton, author of the report, told the full council meeting: “I have put a lot of clients in touch with Sheffield because there is a lot of innovative work going on, such as publishing a phone app for children.”

Councillors across all parties welcomed the report but insisted the council and other agencies involved in providing services, could not be complacent.

Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, said: “It does not mean we can rest on our laurels.

“We always have to be vigilant and go forward.

“I want to be clear that in Sheffield whoever the perpetrators are they will be prosecuted and we will do everything in our power to pursue them while preventing this and protecting young people in our city.”

The meeting heard there was no ‘cast iron guarantee’ that what happened in Rotherham would never happen in Sheffield, but services were robust and showed the ‘ability to learn’.

A council scrutiny committee has written to the Crown Prosecution Service to request closer work with the judiciary system to help young people when they go to court.