Rochdale case speeds up review of protection for children in care

Office of the children's commissioner is asked to accelerate inquiry into safeguards for children at risk of sexual grooming.

Education secretary Michael Gove (Richard Garder/Rex Features)

Education secretary Michael Gove has ordered the deputy children’s commissioner for England to accelerate her inquiry into how to protect children in care from sexual exploitation following the Rochdale case.

A gang of nine men in Rochdale were jailed yesterday for a total of 77 years for sexually exploiting young girls by grooming them with alcohol, drugs and gifts and forcing them to have sex with multiple men. 

Greater Manchester Police’s complex inquiry into the case identified 47 potential victims, many of whom were believed to have been in care.

Gove said the convictions raised “tough questions” about whether the laws around sexual exploitation had been sufficiently rigorous in protecting vulnerable young people.

The office of the children’s commissioner has launched an inquiry into child sexual exploitation by groups and gangs. Gove said: “I have asked Sue Berelowitz (deputy children’s commissioner) to accelerate the existing investigation and make recommendations in the next month, to protect children from this sort of disgusting activity.”

Community Care Inform will soon be publishing a guide for social care professionals working with children at risk of sexual exploitation. Register to receive the guide

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