I have listened with interest over the past couple of days to the various present and past members of Rotherham Borough Council apologising for their failings in preventing the abuse of 1,400 children in the Rotherham area.

As a lawyer specialising in abuse claims, particularly against local Councils, it occurs to me that there are now at least 1,400 potential Claimants in Rotherham who will all have sizeable damages claims.

The claims are varied and will fall into 4 categories:-

  1. Claim against the Council – where it can be shown that the Council had a duty of care to the abused child and where their actions could have prevented the abuse a claim may be brought against the Council.
  2. Claim against the Police – there is long established case law which suggests that negligence claims cannot be brought against the Police.  Recent developments as a result of the Human Rights Act however suggest that the Police may now be responsible for their failings and we are currently pursuing a claim against Greater Manchester Police on the basis of their failings for children abused by gangs where their failure to investigate could have prevented the abuse.
  3. Claim against the perpetrator – some times the abuser will have assets and the victim can claim against the abuser personally.
  4. CICA claim – any victim of a criminal offence has the potential to claim damages from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.

The 1,400 victims thus far mentioned may be the tip of the iceberg.  In cases similar to this, albeit on a smaller small, you often find that for many years victims will continue to come forward.  I am still being contacted now by victims of the Rochdale gangs who wish to bring claims.

My strong advice to anybody who has suffered abuse in Rotherham is that they seek out a specialist Solicitor who deals with abuse claims.  To speak to myself or a member of my team on how to pursue a claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.