This morning I was asked to visit Media City to be interviewed on Radio Manchester about the Rochdale Child Abuse scandal.
It was good to meet a childhood hero in the shape of Alan Beswick whose late night show on Red Rose Radio in the 1980’s was essential listening for all teenagers.
During the interview, I was asked how we went about proving the negligence of social services in these cases when the authorities were doing their ‘level best’ to act within their remit. I went on to explain how, unfortunately in many of the cases we come across, social services have fallen below a reasonable standard and have failed to act where there has clearly been evidence to suggest children were in danger, or there was a potential threat of harm being brought against them.
This certainly seems to have been the case in the Rochdale sex ring. One of the mothers who had three children involved in the paedophile ring claims to have been in dialogue with social services since 2003 and at one point requested that her children be taken into child protection due to the risk she perceived them to be under. Despite this, social services failed to act.
From my experience in this area, circumstances such as those described above suggest there are claims for the victims of the Rochdale case to make against social services. Where children are on the radar of the services; and indeed are supposedly being looked out for by social workers; yet shocking abuse such as that seen in the Rochdale grooming ring is still occurring, there must be something seriously amiss.
I hope that if there are Rochdale abuse victims out there the programme may reach them and alert them to the fact that there are potential claims arising from what they have suffered. Money can never make up for what the victims of abuse go through but at least we are here and able to help in obtaining compensation awards for children such as themselves who have been failed by the system that is supposed to protect them.
By Jonathan Bridge, Abuse Compensation Claims Solicitor