Rochdale grooming case: Review to be launched

A serious case review is to be launched into child sexual exploitation in Rochdale following the conviction of nine men for grooming in May.

The men, from Rochdale and Oldham, exploited girls as young as 13.

They were given sentences ranging from four to 19 years at Liverpool Crown Court after being found guilty of offences including rape.

It emerged during the trial the police and social services had missed opportunities to stop the abuse.

The prime purpose of the review will be to establish what further lessons can be learned to improve the way children are safeguarded.

'Taken four months'

Lynne Jones, chairwoman of Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board, said since the trial, the board had already made "significant progress" reviewing improvements that could be made.

Ms Jones said 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.

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk said: "It will be a very detailed inquiry and that's to be welcomed, but it's fair to say I'm disappointed it's taken four months since I called for it."

The nine men convicted were all found guilty of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with girls under the age of 16.

One man later received a further term of 22 years for another 30 child rape charges.

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