Operation Clover verdict – statement from Rotherham Council

Published Wednesday, 24th February 2016
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Rotherham Council reacts to today's verdict in the Operation Clover trial.

Reacting to today’s verdict, Leader of Rotherham Council, Cllr Chris Read, said: "Today – at last – we are starting to see justice done for victims and their families who have endured so many years of abuse.

"Their courage and determination is an inspiration.

"Today’s verdict is also testimony to the many people working across the council, the police and our partner agencies, who have come together with a shared commitment to these victims, to secure justice. I want to pay tribute to their hard work and professionalism.

"Change was desperately needed in Rotherham, and change is what we can see today. There remains a long road ahead with much work still to do. But today we know that Rotherham is not broken. We can face up to that future challenge with great confidence.

"There may be those who use this news to seek to divide our community. Those people will not prevail. Rotherham will stand united against the abuse of our children and young people. We will all continue to work together to keep our children safe, and to root out such horrific abuse wherever we find it, and whoever perpetrates it."

Ian Thomas, the Council’s Director of Children and Young People’s Services, added: "Today is about finally starting to see some justice for these women, as some of the many victims and survivors who have lived through such horrific ordeals. We have worked hard as part of a multi-agency approach to provide support to these women and their families now and in the future.

"I sincerely hope today’s ruling will serve to give hope to other victims and survivors of abuse – justice can be done, and I would urge them to please come forward and seek help."

The Rotherham sexual exploitation helpline, provided by the NSPCC, is a single point of contact for victims and survivors. The helpline is confidential and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Anyone who is concerned about the safety of a young person, or who may be suffering abuse themselves, is urged to seek help. Call police on 101 or the MASH Team (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) on 01709 336080. Always dial 999 in an emergency. 

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