The Rochdale gang jailed for running a child exploitation ring (GMP)
The Rochdale gang jailed for running a child exploitation ring (GMP)

The victims of a child exploitation ring in Rochdale are believed to be considering suing social services following a report which showed the authorities failed to protect them.

A solicitor for some of girls who were abused by nine men in Rochdale told ITV's Daybreak it was "very likely" they will sue Rochdale social services following the revelations in the report.

The report compiled by the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board (RBSCB) revealed authorities had "missed opportunities" to stop the sexual abuse and criticised social care's response to cases.

The report claimed some girls were "making their own choices" and consented to sex as well as dismissing one of the victims because she was deemed an "unreliable witness".

Solicitor Richard Scorer said: "I think based on the evidence in this report it is very likely that we will be going forward with legal action.

"I think it is right that where social services have failed in this way that they are held properly to account.

"This will not be about multi-million pound pay-outs, it will be about giving these girls the resources to get their lives back on track after missing out because of the abuse they suffered."

The report, based on analysis of social services, police and Crown Prosecution Services responses between 2007 and 2012, revealed that one victim first spoke about her abuse in August 2008.

Her complaint was not properly scrutinised and she continued to be abused for months afterwards.

Scorer added that the victims "are deeply traumatised and distressed by these events, which have lasted over many years.

"I think there was a view in social services that somehow these girls were making their own choices about this.

"The reality is that they were trapped in this situation. They were victims of violence and threats of violence, they were trapped in the situation, they couldn't escape from it and they needed the help and support of social services and the police to do that.

"Of course eventually that came, but it came many years too late."

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk said the report suggests that, by failing to protect the children in this case, the authorities gave the abusers the impression they could continue to rape under-age girls indefinitely.

"What this report shows is that young girls' cries for help were systematically ignored and I'm in no doubt that the poor response by council services would have emboldened the criminal to make them think they could carry on abusing with impunity.

"They knew the girls had been to the police and social services and because nothing happened they must have thought 'we can get away with raping girls for as long as we want'. This report only looks at one case and clearly shows a culture of neglect.

"The more thorough Serious Case Review I am sure will reveal an even worse picture."