Rotherham Victim Group to receive Funds

An outreach project that aimed to tackle child sexual abuse by gangs within Rotherham has been offered new funding after it was shut down four years ago because the council saw it as “a nuisance”.

The Government announced it would contribute £250,000 towards reinstating the Risky Business programme, which works below the radar encouraging exploited children to escape their perpetrators. …

The manager of the project, Jayne Senior, told Sky she had reported 1,700 cases of grooming or sexual exploitation to Rotherham authorities between 1999 and 2011 but was ignored.

There have since been two damning reports highlighting the council and police’s failure to recognise or act on the scale of the problem.

The most recent investigation by Louise Casey said at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham.

Casey branded the local authority “not fit for purpose” and left it facing takeover by Government commissioners.

A Sky News investigation found despite public attention over the last year, the council had refused funding to set up a new outreach project for victims since Risky Business was closed in 2011.

But a statement by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, said: “Risky Business developed a ground-breaking approach to reaching out to victims of child sexual exploitation and to collecting evidence about perpetrators, until the misguided and inappropriate decisions of the council resulted in the closure of the Risky Business service.

“The (Louise Casey) report concludes that the critical work undertaken by Risky Business ‘is now missing from Rotherham’. This should not continue and historic victims of child sexual exploitation should be given the help they need.