More child abuse victims come forward in Rotherham

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More potential child abuse victims in Rotherham have come forward since a shock report revealed 1,400 youngsters were abused by Asian men over 16 years.

Professor Alexis Jay looked at the extent of child abuse in the town between 1997 and 2013 and found that in one third of the cases the youngsters abused were known to the authorities.

The report said children were raped, abused and trafficked to other parts of the country for other perpetrators to violate them.

Some were threatened with guns, warned they would be set alight and threatened with gang rape if they reported offenders.

The report found authorities did know about the abuse but failed to act.

Prof Jay said the abuse ‘continues to this day’.

And South Yorkshire Police chiefs have revealed that more potential victims have come forward over recent days.

A force spokeswoman said: “As a result of the release of the report we have begun to see a number of new reports about child sexual exploitation.

“The force interprets this as a sign of confidence amongst victims that the force, as it stands now, will take these matters seriously and investigate them fully.”

There are currently 48 investigations into child sexual exploitation underway in Rotherham.

Nine relate to offences from the period examined by Prof Jay, two of which are described as ‘very large investigations’ involving 283 potential victims and 18 suspects.

Assistant Chief Constable Ingrid Lee added: “Our officers will relentlessly pursue all evidence and do everything they can to achieve justice for victims and bring those responsible to justice.”

Chief Constable David Crompton has ordered ‘a fully independent investigation’ into his force’s handling of child sexual exploitation.

He said: “A fully independent and impartial investigation is required to ensure that people have confidence that organisations or any individuals will be investigated fairly, rigorously and with complete impartiality.

“The investigation will properly and independently examine the role of both the police and council during the period identified and address any wrongdoings or failings, which will allow the appropriate action to be taken.”