MPs have today reported that organised child sex abuse is widespread in England. They base this on the findings of Professor Alexis Jay whose report brought into the public domain the abuse of 1400 children in the Rotherham area between 1997 and 2013.
In previous blogs I have criticised the repeated reports that are published into abuse. We need action not words. I do have to concede however that the MPs report is helpful.
Their findings mirror my own experience as a Lawyer specialising in claims involving abuse. I act for Claimants who have been abused in towns throughout the country and in particular in the North West. I act for clients who have been victims of abuse in Rochdale, Salford, Manchester, Burnley, Halifax, Blackpool, Wolverhampton and many other towns.
The common thread is usually that the victim is vulnerable, either because of a difficult domestic background or because of intellectual disability and that that child has been exploited by gangs.
The report criticises Rotherham because their child protection policies were “divorced from reality”. I would entirely agree with the MPs and from my experience Rotherham are not the only Council with this problem and that the vast majority of Councils, particularly across the North of England, are potentially “Rotherham’s waiting to happen”. The one good news story was from the Engage Team in East Lancashire which did appreciate there was a problem in 2006 and which has worked hard on a multi agency basis to combat the problem ever since. Many of the other Councils could learn a great deal from the way the Engage Team has operated in Blackburn and surrounding towns.
If you want to discuss in confidence a potential claim we have a specialist team here at Farleys who can provide the initial advice. To speak to an experienced abuse claims solicitor please call us now on 0845 050 1958 or email us.