Council leader: 'Rise in number of child abuse victims in Rotherham proof of work being done'
Council leader Chris Read says news that there are more victims of sexual exploitation in Rotherham than first though is proof of the hard work being done in the town.
The National Crime Agency, which is investigating historic offences committed in the town between 1997 and 2013, said today the number of victims identified had risen to 1,510 - up from the 1,400 Prof Alexis Jay originally estimated in her independent report into the scandal.
But Rotherham Borough Council leader Chris Read said Prof Jay's 1,400 was only a 'conservative assessment'.
"Having spoken to some of the NCA officers, you understand how they work and follow the leads that evidence naturally takes them to people who weren't initially identified," he said.
"Although the numbers are rising, people ought to be confident that the NCA are doing a proper job. They are not just taking what it's front of them, they are digging deep and investigating properly."
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"We know that that there will be a lot of pressure on local services and a lot of survivors coming through over the next few years but we are still having the argument with the government about the funding for support services," he said.
"I am not just saying this to make a political point - it's on every level. The council leader in me knows we need we need to fund the services and, as Chris Read, I know these are real lives that are being affected and we need to support these people."