By ANISAH ARIF
The Home Office have shown their support for Kirklees’ independent review into Children Sexual Exploitation.
The support comes following a letter from Kirklees Council Leader calling for an England wide review into the issue due to similar cases in Rochdale and Rotherham. In her response to Councillor Shabir Pandor, Victoria Atkins MP, Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability highlighted and recognised the Council’s significant work to date and its future cooperation in the Kirklees Safeguarding Children’s Board’s independent review.
Also highlighted was the current work of the Government and the 2015 established Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). She added that the IICSA has already announced a specific investigation into institutional responses to the sexual exploitation by organised network of the kind found in Kirklees.
Commenting on the letter Councillor Shabir Pandor, said: “I welcome the Minister’s support of the independent review being undertaken by Kirklees into what is an issue that should never have happened and must never occur again.
The protection of all of our vulnerable residents continues to be our highest priority. The Minister’s letter confirms our commitment to tackling, through an independent review, what went wrong and how we go forward.”
In her letter, the Minister also shared details of a Truth Project which will enable victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experiences anonymously, in a support and confidential setting. The learning from which will inform future recommendations made by the Chair and Panel members. Further work of the IICSA can be found here: www.iicsa.org.uk
The independent review is currently being conducted as a matter of urgency focusing initially on the 21 cases which have been through the court process. The review will look at the roles of the Council, the Police, schools and colleges and the health sector.