Police commissioner should step down after Rotherham child sexual exploitation report

The report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 is unequivocal.

Alexis Jay confirms there have been big improvements in the last five years but vulnerable children have been badly let down by people who disbelieved them, didn’t think they were worthy of help and downplayed the scale of the abuse. Those who knew about this terrible abuse but didn’t do their jobs and protect our young people must be called to account.

In light of the findings of the report, it’s wrong for South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright to remain in post. I’m disappointed he hasn’t stepped down and he should heed the widespread calls to do so.

Both the police and council need new leadership that can demonstrate a fresh start and a new, open way of operating.

Both have a big job to do to rebuild public confidence and reassure victims that things have changed, will change further and that they will get all the support they may need. It can take extreme desperation or great courage to break out of the situation they are in and report their abuser. They must know they will be listened to, supported and protected. They must also know that their abusers will face the full force of the law so South Yorkshire Police must secure more prosecutions, of current and historic crimes.