VICTIM: One of the girls at the centre of the Rochdale child sex grooming case. Her face is in darkness to protect her identity
An independent serious case review into the Rochdale sex grooming case will take place.
The Rochdale Safeguarding Children Board (RSCB) has confirmed it will hold an in-depth independent inquiry after months of pressure.
The review will see if more could have been done to protect children who were sexually exploited by a gang of older men in Rochdale and Heywood.
It comes after nine men were jailed for 77 years in May for grooming five youngsters for sex, although police believe there could have been up to 47 victims.
Lynne Jones, chair of the RBSC said the review would look at how the council, the police and health officials dealt with the victims.
She confirmed that four cases would be looked into to see what lessons could be learnt.
She said: “I have decided to undertake a serious case review which will follow existing regulations and also incorporate elements of the government’s proposed new approach to learning.
“The review will look at the experiences of four young people and how agencies responded to their needs, with particular reference to early help that was available for them, how referrals of concern were escalated and how services were accessed.
“We will ensure that learning from all on-going reviews are co-ordinated and that recommendations from all reviews are implemented promptly so that we can build on the improvements already made, ensuring that children are supported and protected and that those who commit these crimes are brought to justice.”
The serious case review (SCR) comes on top of two other investigations which are already taking place.
The RSCB’s own learning event is due to be published at the end of the month while Rochdale council’s internal investigation should report back in October.
MP Simon Danczuk said holding an SCR would secure ‘lasting justice’ for those who were abused.
He said: “I’ve been calling for a SCR for many months now and I’m pleased that they’ve listened. I think this is the first step in securing lasting justice for the victims of these terrible crimes, who were clearly let down by the authorities.
“I’ve made my views known to RCSB and I’m pleased they’re now going to act.”