ROTHERHAM Borough Council chief executive Martin Kimber has apologised to families let down over child sexual exploitation.
Mr Kimber was giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee about localised child grooming on Tuesday afternoon.
He said: “I would apologise to young people and families where they have been let down.
“I don’t think that's ever as a consequence of individual failure, it’s nearly always systemic failure.”
Mr Kimber added that “shared responsibility and accountability” with other agencies was the way forward — and the situation had improved in the past few years.
But South Yorkshire had no successful prosecutions last year for child sexual exploitation, compared with 100 in Lancashire.
Joyce Thacker, the borough council’s children’s services director, admitted it was deeply disappointing.
But she said convictions were the “icing on the cake” and disruption was also an important part of tackling the issue.
Committee chairman Keith Vaz ended by stressing the MPs’ continued concern for the situation in Rotherham.
He added that other members of the borough council may be called to give evidence at a later date.