Rotherham Abuse Underestimated

29 January 2015, 17:30 | Updated: 29 January 2015, 17:41

There are claims the number of children and young people groomed and abused in Rotherham could be nearer to 2,000

Professor Alexis Jay's report last summer described how hundreds of children had been subjected to rape, violence and trafficking by gangs of mainly Asian men in the South Yorkshire town between 1997 and 2013.

Rotherham's Labour MP, Sarah Champion, now says she now thinks the figures may be an underestimate.

"The Jay Report said 1,400, but I'm getting new victims coming to me on a weekly basis.
"So I would say it's closer to a couple of thousand people who have been groomed or have been sexually exploited in this little town.''

A youth and community worker who tried to expose the scandal has also spoken out for the first time.

Jayne Senior worked for the Risky Business community project in Rotherham which said it identified 1,700 victims between 1999 and 2011.

Risky Business was one of the few organisations praised by Prof Jay, but it was largely ignored and even harassed.

Former manager Jayne Senior said:

" I was accused of saying too much, sharing too much information, reporting too much intelligence.
"Risky business didn't make all this up. It was accused of making it all up, and Alexis Jay exonerated all of that, but we didn't just get up and think: 'What shall we do today? Let's make up that...'''

A victim has also spoken out saying her abusers are still driving around Rotherham's streets.

"I'm still seeing my abusers, driving young girls in the car.
"They're untouchable. Six months on we've had no arrests, no charges, evidence is still being lost. They're just giving them - 'do what you want'.''

Asked about what happened to Risky Business, she said:

"I think it was shut down because they were trying to tackle the problem.''

She said this amounted to a cover-up.

The National Crime Agency has now taken over the investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and is in the preliminary stage of its inquiry.