Home Secretary pledges to avoid repeat of Rotherham child-grooming scandal

Priti Patel has insisted no part of the state should turn a blind eye to grooming of children, to avoid a repeat of the Rotherham scandal.

The Home Secretary said survivors of grooming have endured a “terrible time” and were let down by many aspects of state and society.

Such a scenario must not be allowed to happen again, Ms Patel told the Commons.

Her remarks came after Labour’s Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, said there “isn’t enough nationally” when highlighting the resources of police and local authorities to respond to cases.

In 2014, Professor Alexis Jay published a report into the rape, grooming and trafficking of hundreds of children in Rotherham.

She shocked the nation when she described how more than 1,400 children had been affected and police and social services had largely ignored the problem.

Ms Patel, replying to Ms Champion, said: “I’ve recently announced the Home Office will be publishing a paper to help us better understand characteristics associated with groups and I’d welcome and ask (Ms Champion) to work with me and join our external reference group that I have established on this important area.

“But (Ms Champion) specifically raises issues around third-party organisations.

“I’ve met many of the survivors and sufferers directly with her on this issue.

“They had a terrible time. They have also been failed by many aspects of the state and society.

“We can never allow that to happen again, which is why I’m committed not just on resourcing but also through the work I’ve commissioned in the department… in making sure that no other aspect of the state or organisation or third-party or government institution turns a blind eye and ignores the needs of individuals in the way in which happened in her own constituency.”

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