Page last updated at 17:13 GMT, Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Home Affairs Committee

A health worker who has helped child victims of grooming has told MPs she believes child sexual exploitation is continuing in Rochdale.

Sara Rowbotham, the co-ordinator of Rochdale's Crisis Intervention Team, told the Home Affairs Committee on 6 November 2012: "In Rochdale, there is still sexual exploitation."

She added: "We are attending strategy meetings where these concerns have been raised," claiming that children as young as 14 are involved.

The committee's inquiry follows the recent case where nine men were jailed in May for grooming girls.

A subsequent report by the local Safeguarding Children Board found that police and social services had "missed opportunities" to prevent sexual abuse from taking place.

The committee also heard from the former chief executive of Rochdale Council, Roger Ellis, who left the council earlier this year, after taking early retirement.

He said he had received a redundancy payment but added that he did not feel he should give it back because he did not feel personally responsible, as nobody had told him what was going on.

Committee chair Keith Vaz said he was "deeply disappointed" by Mr Ellis's evidence and called for a judicial inquiry, suggesting that the new inquiry into allegations of abuse at North Wales children's homes should also look at events in Rochdale.


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