It has been announced that there will be a Serious Case Review following the conviction of nine men for grooming victims in an organised sex ring in Rochdale. The Rochdale sex ring hit the headlines in May when the men were convicted; receiving sentences of up to 19 years after being found guilty of numerous offences, including rape.

It became abundantly clear during the trial of these men that there were significant failings by the police and social services in their handling of these cases and missed opportunities to prevent this extreme case of abuse from continuing.

Reassurance has been given by Social Services that changes have already been made. Lynne Jones, Chairwoman of Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board, has confirmed that since the trial, the board had already made “significant progress’ reviewing improvements that could be made. The Serious Case Review will look at the experiences of four young victims and focus on key issues such as how agencies involved responded to their needs, availability of services and reporting of concerns.

The response of Social Services, however, has been slow and the board has already been criticised by Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk for taking four months to get to the point of beginning the review.

It is hoped that serious lessons will be learned regarding the safeguarding of vulnerable young girls in the future. Many young people, both male and female, have been and continue to be the victims of sexual abuse. It is quite often the case that this abuse will continue for many years and victims are continually let down by Social Services.

Young children are groomed every day and unfortunately, the Rochdale Sex Ring is just a single example of many similar occurrences happening throughout the country. For example, we are currently handling another case for a young victim of another sex ring in the Lancashire area; highlighting that there are many victims out there that continue to be let down by social services and in this case in question, the police.

It is sometimes only when cases such as the Rochdale Case are brought to the public’s attention that victims and their families find the courage to speak out about their experiences and seek to find the justice they have so far failed to achieve.

We have a dedicated abuse team at Farleys who deal with many cases on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse against social services. We understand how difficult it can be to come forward and talk about this. Through our commitment and expertise we are here to help clients secure the compensation they deserve.

By Kelly Darlington, Abuse Claim Solicitor