John writes to Home Secretary about child sexual exploitation and abuse

MP John Healey has written to Home Secretary Theresa May urging her to use conclusions of the Rotherham report as the basis for the Government’s promised ‘overarching inquiry’ into child abuse.

The full letter, dated Friday 29 August, can be downloaded here.

Mr Healey asks Ms May to begin the inquiry – announced nearly two months ago on 7 July – without further delay, and to make a statement in Parliament confirming this when the House of Commons returns. The inquiry is set to identify gaps in the current child protection system and focus on historic child abuse.

Based on the conclusions of Alexis Jay’s report, Mr Healey says in the letter that:

• There is a need for better understanding and clearer standards for long-term support for child sexual abuse victims everywhere to reflect the lasting harm that they’re like to suffer;

• There is a need for a hard look at the way Ofsted and Social Services Inspectorate inspections are done to make sure that they can and do get to the truth;

• There is the need for a wider examination of how best to confront the added complexity ethnicity can create when dealing with child sexual abuse and exploitation;

• There is a need for a full assessment of the costs required in running services that can properly identify, support and protect those children at risk of sexual exploitation, and there is also the need for government to guarantee that agencies in all areas have the resources to do so.

Mr Healey urged Ms May to ensure areas of concern arising from Alexis Jay’s report are covered in the overaching inquiry into child abuse, so the same grave failings in Rotherham are not repeated elsewhere.

Read the letter in full