Your views on Rotherham's child sexual exploitation scandal

Your views on Rotherham's child sexual exploitation scandal

By Admin | 03/09/2014 0 comments

Your views on Rotherham's child sexual exploitation scandal

 

AS the scandal surrounding the report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham develops, here are some of your views. This week's Rotherham Advertiser will devote four pages to letters from readers on why this has happened in Rotherham and what should be done:

A bullying culture

I WRITE with regard to the recent grooming scandal in our town. I believe that one of the key elements in the failure of statutory bodies to protect these poor children is the fact that these victims were deemed to be working class, and therefore less worthy of protection than others within our community.  

South Yorkshire Police has done a magnificent job recently of swiftly apprehending the rapist Nicholas Totty, and bringing him to justice for his appalling crimes. It begs the question why they have not acted with similar alacrity and purpose to the mass rape of 1,400 children? Could a factor be that Totty committed his crimes in the middle-class area of Moorgate, that the police regarded Totty’s victims as ‘respectable’, whilst most of these children, according to Professor Jay’s report, were deemed by the officers meant to protect them to be in some way culpable for their own victimisation?

As for Martin Kimber’s assertion that he is part of the solution to the problem — it beggars belief. As a former frontline council employee, I believe that he presides over a bullying management culture. Whilst I was working at Riverside concerns were raised by frontline staff over frequent verbal aggression, racist remarks to both Asian and white staff, stalking, and attempted assault by members of the public. Managers decided that these attacks were largely the result of staff attitudes, and that staff needed further training. It appeared to me that the management line, in essence, was that staff were ‘asking for it’.  If that is the attitude of senior managers to the council’s own frontline female staff, it should come as no surprise that those same managers have so little regard for the safety of working-class women and girls in the wider community. 

Until Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and South Yorkshire Police believe that women from Eastwood, Rawmarsh, and Kimberworth, and the children of ordinary working people, are deserving of the same respect as their middle-class counterparts in Moorgate, Bramley and Wickersley, these appalling crimes will, sadly, continue to be under-investigated.

Rape is a crime, regardless of the class or colour of the victim, or the ethnic origin of the attacker. It is shameful that those tasked with protecting children and women in our town need to have this tenet of basic human decency pointed out to them.

Louise Hudd

 

Law only cares about justice

I SPENT Tuesday afternoon watching the latest episode highlighting the incompetency, weak leadership and intransigence of the ruling Labour party who control our town. Mainly the council committee members, chief executive and heads of various involved services in relation to the child sexual exploitation report on Sky News, BBC News and local TV news.

I have lived in Rotherham all my life and can honestly say that I feel ashamed that the above have yet again caused our beloved town’s good name to be dragged through the mud.

How this situation was allowed to reach such a conclusion with so many so called intelligent and educated people being involved is beyond my comprehension. 

There are so many questions and grey areas to be explained, for example:

1. What was the state of affairs before 1997 and what exactly from 2013 to the present day has been put in place?

2. Why were at least three reports on the same subject ignored, overruled or not implemented and by whom (what committee and which councillors)?

3. Why did SY Police fail to act on the numerous allegations they received from the vulnerable victims over this time period and who made the decisions not to investigate?

4. Councillors were given extensive evidence in 2004/2005 of child abuse by senior directorate officers. Why was this not acted upon? Whose decision was it not to?

5. The perpetrators of this abuse were of Pakistani/Asian origin or descent — to what extent was their community involved/approached for information/help in naming these offenders from both SY Police and the council?

6. Martin Kimber, the chief executive, keeps stating on the lines of,  ‘the report states I am part of the solution and have put a report to the council members with numerous recommendations to ensure this does not happen again’. Mr Kimber was in post around July 2009 and 2111 when a group of Pakistani/Asian men were jailed for grooming and sexually abusing young Rotherham girls. Was he not part of the solution then? What report and recommendations were implemented then? The report proves not enough.

How will his new recommendations be funded with the council cash strapped and cutting services year after year? By closing libraries, youth/community centres, selling off playing fields and parks? You can delegate authority but not responsibility — a man with any decency or honour would resign!

The council and SY Police have done their customary press and media interviews with the usual insincere apologetic retractions but words are easily said and are cheap at the expense of the 1,400 plus abused girls — what we the public of Rotherham want is action and now.

Forget being politically correct and do not be afraid of upsetting the Pakistani/Asian community by investigating these serious crimes, it’s their town as well.

Even the Queen is subject to the laws of this land so if the perpetrators are investigated, tried and punished, if found guilty, what is the issue? The law does not care about creed, colour, religion, political correctness, diversity — only justice.

The Phantom Quill 

 

Why should we pay?

ROTHERHAM is in shame and should act swiftly with remedies to show the rest of Britain how we mean to deal with the matter concerning the appalling abuse suffered by many young girls at the hands of paedophiles, which has been greatly exacerbated by the implication that nameless police and equally nameless officials knew about this — and did nothing, even apparently trying to sweep the matter under the carpet for more than a decade, because the perpetrators of these evil deeds were mostly of Pakistani origin and no one wanted to appear racist!

It’s not racist to lock up a paedophile and throw away the key! Now it seems that these officials who have been complacent at the very least by their inaction feel that they only have to say that they are very sorry and didn’t mean it and they will be forgiven. No way! “Sorry” is not enough! Resignations are not enough!

Pleading alleged ignorance of these events when they knew abuse was taking place and chose not to take any action is not an excuse. Those who failed in their duty to protect these girls, be it council members, care workers, senior officials or police should feel the full weight of the law and be prosecuted for their lax attitude to duty, along with the men who committed these crimes. Yes! Heads should roll.  

As a first priority, we should now call a bi-election and make every councillor apply for their post. A clean sweep can then dislodge the decades of rot and complacency which has set in over many years. “Missing” records on paper and computer, which have relevance to taxi visits, care home visits, etc. should now be miraculously discovered by staff past and present, and all avenues should be explored from whatever source and community to find and arrest these people. Those who know should now report what they know.

My final point concerns the news that solicitors acting for 15 of the victims have been working on the case for 18 months and have served notice on the council for out of court settlements for them. Where was that announced in public?

If this action goes to court with a potential £100,000 claimed for each girl, it would cost the ratepayers of Rotherham £140 million if all the victims take the same action. What vital services would be cut to pay this enormous sum if it came out of the Rotherham budget and why should any of us have to pay this for the faults of all those who have allowed this to happen?

Name and address withheld 

 

Positive discrimination

FOLLOWING the recent revelations about the gross failures of Rotherham Council to protect its most vulnerable people in the grooming scandal, I look forward to a change in the law making it illegal to positively discriminate.

Ian Rhodes, Broom

 

Council, police given more protection than girls

DISGUSTED, appalled, angry but most of all incredulous that as the fourth report into Rotherham’s abject failure to act upon the years of child grooming takes place still no one has been summarily dismissed from their council, police and social work positions.

They are being given more protection than ever these girls were. Outside agencies must be brought in to clear up, without fear or favour, this shameful situation. Rotherham’s own public servants obviously are incapable of doing so.

Jill Towey, Norrels Croft , Broom Valley

 

Behaviour is disgraceful

AS an older citizen of the town I cannot remember a time when there was so much disgraceful behaviour by councillors and officials of the borough discovered every day. It just goes on and on. Disgrace on an industrial scale and a veritable Danse Macabre by so many skeletons tumbling out of filing cabinets and rising from under the carpets where they have been so long hidden.

Meanwhile the councillors and town officials hang on to their jobs and their pay. How thick skinned do you have to be and what brass neck is needed to hang on to your lucrative post in the face of the horror and contempt of the people you are supposed to serve? Four more councillors have now been suspended from the Labour Party — surely that must mean new elections as they can now no longer claim to represent the party for whom they were elected. After BBC Panorama on Monday night which exposed the multitude of cover ups over many years and deletion of documents and files, several people should now take responsibility for dereliction of duty. 

Rotherham deserves better. We need a new council and a fresh approach to how it operates. The current system of cabinet decisions behind closed doors is too secretive and not good enough. The name of Rotherham has become almost a byword for sleaze; the good people of Rotherham want answers and better representation so that our children and grandchildren can once again be proud to say they are from Rotherham.

Name and address supplied


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