Rotherham child exploitation papers disclosed

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COUNCIL chiefs in Rotherham today vowed to bring sexual predators to justice for targeting young children.

The vow came after the disclosure of confidential police and council files on the sexual exploitation of children.

They reveal that for more than a decade South Yorkshire authorities have been aware of a growing culture of men targeting vulnerable young English, but give a series of shocking examples of where offenders have never been prosecuted.

They also reveal instances where young children have been pimped and trafficked to other parts of the country.

One of the reports came from the South Yorkshire Police intelligence bureau, which admitted that in 2010 there was ‘evidence of a substantial and organised offender network that groom and exploit victims’.

It referred to ‘a significant problem with networks of Asian males exploiting young white females’ in the county.

Another intelligence report reveals that by 2010 up to 300 children were being sexually exploited but there were only three officers dedicated to tackling the issue.

It added: “Force provision for the policing of child exploitation is not equivalent to the scale and seriousness of the problem.”

Joyce Thacker, Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services for Rotherham Council, said: “Rotherham Council, working with local partner agencies and the community, is fully committed to tackling sexual exploitation - a commitment which has led to the conviction of men involved in this despicable crime as well as support for victims.

“There will always be those people who will attempt to harm our young people and carry out these horrendous crimes but we, along with our partners and communities, will do whatever we can to bring them to justice.”