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VIDEO: How Do I Talk To My Children About Grooming?

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5:53am 27th August 2014
(Updated 5:53am 27th August 2014)

No council employees will face disciplinary action over the sexual exploitation of 1,400 children over 16 years in Rotherham.

Council leader Roger Stone stepped down after the report which detailed the rape of children as young as 11 by multiple men, grooming and child trafficking in the South Yorkshire town.

But council chief executive Martin Kimber said there was not enough evidence to take action despite the report attributing the failures "almost without exception" to senior managers in child protection services, elected councillors and senior police officers.

He said those in senior positions during "critical periods" were now working elsewhere. 

"What I have said is that there are people still in professional practice today who were working for Rotherham during the critical periods and it's really important that their current employers read this report for their own judgements as to their particular role at that time," he said.

Professor Alexis Jay, who wrote the report, said councillors seemed to think the exploitation, in which many of the perpetrators were described as Asian, was a one-off problem they hoped would go away.

"Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist," she said.

"Others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so."

Rotherham Council accepted that failures were not down to "front line social or youth workers who are acknowledged in the report as repeatedly raising serious concerns about the nature and extent of this kind of child abuse".

Mr Kimber himself told Sky News he would staying in his post as he was "part of the solution".

He said: "The report makes it very clear that I'm part of the solution to improving services, not part of the problem.

"The report indicates that during the last five years there have been very significant improvements, the last five years have been in my tenure as chief executive.

"One of the things the report does allow me to do is to reassure young people today, parents today, that where young people are in trouble, that we will take them seriously and we will put services in to protect them.

"I will not be standing down from my post."

How To Protect Your Children

Experts say there are some things we can do to stop predators targeting our children:

1. Find out and pay attention to who is in your child's life. That includes teachers, assistants, club leaders, day care providers etc.

2. Pay unannounced visits regularly and ask questions about what you see and hear happening.

3. Talk to your children about what sort of touching is right and what is wrong. Let them know the danger signs of grooming and make sure they know they can tell you if anything ever makes them feel uncomfortable.

You can find out more from the NSPCC here.

5:53am 27th August 2014

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