18 Nov 2014

Responding to the Community and Local Government Committee’s report, Child sexual exploitation in Rotherham: some issues for local government, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:

'This report underlines that the appalling child sexual abuse uncovered in Rotherham is just the tip of the iceberg, and exists across England. It also highlights the systematic and institutional failings that must be stamped out. This is a challenge to everyone involved in the protection of children. We must stop at nothing to tackle these horrific crimes. Local authorities must make sure they are fully geared up to identify and tackle child sexual exploitation wherever it exists.

'Children who have been let down by the very professionals who should have protected them – whether police, councils or Ofsted – must not be let down once again by a lack of scrutiny, care and support. Good quality services must be available whenever they are needed and the costs of supporting victims of child sexual exploitation must always be met. You simply cannot put a price on a child’s safety. Central Government must also take responsibility for this and provide additional funding where necessary.

'The MPs’ report also underlines the urgency for the national independent inquiry into child sexual abuse. No stone should ever be left unturned when it comes to investigating allegations, whether in the past or the present, and the system must be improved to provide better protection for children now.'

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Notes to editor

• The Children’s Society has helped change children’s stories for over a century. We expose injustice and address hard truths, tackling child poverty and neglect head-on. We fight for change based on the experiences of every child we work with and the solid evidence we gather. Through our campaigning, commitment and care, we are determined to give every child in this country the greatest possible chance in life.