Rotherham Abuse Scandal: 1,665 children may have been at risk since 2017, GB News can reveal

The data also shows the number of children identified as potentially being at the highest risk increased between 2016 and 2020.

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GB News can reveal 1,665 children may have been at risk of being sexually exploited in Rotherham since 2017.

The numbers identified as being at the highest risk in risk assessment forms by Rotherham Council increased between 2016 and 2020.

Rotherham Council’s risk assessment forms show that this year – up to the 6th October – 377 children may have been at risk – with 53 given the highest risk rating.

The data also shows the number of children identified as potentially being at the highest risk increased between 2016 and 2020.

It comes after a report this week from opposition Conservatives on Rotherham Council claimed there were “multiple examples of active grooming and CSE” in the town – although this was disputed by the council and South Yorkshire Police.

Rotherham Council said this week that it takes all allegations of child abuse very seriously.

It added that the independent inspectors OFSTED say.- in their words – that children’s services in Rotherham have been “transformed” since 2014.

The council also added that not every allegation will be validated but urges people to report any suspicions to them.

What does this data show us?

  • 1,665 may have been at risk of being sexually exploited in Rotherham since 2017
  • This is the number of risk assessments completed by RMBC where a child MAY be at risk - not necessarily
  • 312 completed in 2019 – 379 in 2020 and 377 in 2021 up to 6th October – seems to be increasing
  • Number at highest risk – 39 in 2017 – 66 in 2018/19 – 73 in 2020 and 53 in 2021 up to 6th October – those at highest risk would see social workers taking urgent action to prevent imminent harm

What reaction has there been to this?

Comes in a week when report from opposition Conservatives said there were “multiple examples of active grooming and CSE” in Rotherham

That report was disputed by South Yorkshire Police and Commissioner Alan Billings who told GB News this week that there are 34 active cases in relation to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and 29 suspects have been arrested.

There has also been some confusion around the numbers Rotherham Council has been providing when it comes to child sexual exploitation.

Last year – CSE survivor “Elizabeth” was told by Rotherham Council leader Chris Read in a letter that there 636 cases of CSE in Rotherham between 2014 and November 2020. We used the same definition as in her letter to ask the council for the data too and got much higher numbers.

Rotherham Council have since clarified that the figures Elizabeth was given show that 636 children had been supported by their staff between 2014 and November 2020 – while the figures we were given were the number of risk assessments which were completed – we don’t know why they sent two different sets of data in response to the same question but are trying to find out.

Our figures show 1,665 children may have been at risk of being sexually exploited in Rotherham since 2017.

What have the authorities had to say about the issue of grooming in Rotherham generally?

South Yorkshire Police told us this week that “CSE remains a problem in Rotherham as it does right across the country” and that they are “working tirelessly to bring people to justice and prevent harm”

Rotherham Council say they take all allegations of child abuse very seriously. They also say the independent inspectors OFSTED say children’s services have – in their words – been “transformed” in Rotherham since 2014.

The council also says that not every allegation will be validated but are urging people to report any suspicions they may have.