Gangs of paedophiles are still on the streets of Rotherham as Britain reacts with horror to years of child sex abuse that the authorities failed to tackle.

Child abusers are still active and abusing vulnerable young victims in the Yorkshire town and those suffering are being neglected by the public bodies meant to protect them.

That was the claim by Ukip MEP Jane Collins, who spoke out in the wake of a damning report exposing how 1,400 children were abused by gangs of Pakistani men between 1997 and 2013.

Collins told IBTimes UK that sex abuse by evil gangs is continuing to this day, even as politicians argue about who is to blame and what to do about it.

She issued a stark warning to the town: "It is not historic. It will be going on tonight and it is not a small number of children involved by any means."

"The likes of Sarah Champion [Rotherham MP for Labour] are talking about this like it is in the past. But it is not historic at all."

Collins refused to say how many children were involved in ongoing abuse, or the ethnic profile of the alleged abusers.

She said she could not reveal more about the claims revealed to her by a charity in the area because figures were still being compiled on the scale of continuing abuse.

Collins, the MEP for the region, is Ukip's Rotherham candidate for next year's general election. She said a phone helpline will open next week for vulnerable children in the area to call regarding abuse.

"Any victims who are suffering at the moment who do not trust the police or the council can ring," she said.

A damning report exposing years of failure by the authorities in Rotherham, which allowed child abusers to flourish, has shamed public bodies in the town. On Thursday 28 August, South Yorkshire deputy police and crime commissioner Tracey Cheetham resigned over the scandal.

Her boss Shaun Wright has so far defied calls to quit his post. The current police commissioner, he was in charge of children's services in Rotherham during the period when 1,400 children were systemically abused by a gang of Pakistani men between 1997 and 2013.

Professor Alexis Jay, who authored the government report on the scandal, called it "appalling". She said: "It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse the child victims suffered."

Collins won 22 per cent of the vote for Ukip at a by-election in Rotherham in 2012, which was triggered by the resignation of incumbant Denis MacShane who was jailed in an expenses scandal.

It has been a solid Labour seat for more than 80 years and a party spokesman told the Financial Times the prospect of losing to Ukip "hasn't crossed our minds today".