In Rotherham, for many years, young girls have been sexually exploited, raped, abused and trafficked. They have been ignored and neglected by social services, the police, politicians and the press. We have seen 3 men jailed for a total of 79 years this week and it feels like a tide has turned.
It has ....and it hasn't.
At the time when Rotherham's secrets were first blown apart and much abuse was exposed the whole country centred on who might be to blame. Feminists, myself included, demanded that those responsible at institutional level were held to account alongside those who abused. They allowed it to happen by their inaction. I consider them culpable by their neglect and poor practice (at best) and I want to see them brought to whatever justice is appropriate and available.
Shaun Wright was the Labour Police and Crime Commissioner and only resigned after extreme pressure after the Alexis Jay report confirmed what many in South Yorkshire had known all along. He had not acted to help young girls who were being raped under his official nose whilst he allowed reports to float across his desk untouched. He was thrown out of the Labour Party but he clung on. He tried desperately to cling to his job but eventually resigned. He had been Cabinet Member for Children's Services at a time when crucial failings were made. Where is he? Why has he not been held to account?
Joyce Thacker was Director Of Children's Services throughout the time investigated and took a £40,000 payoff upon leaving. She only left after extreme pressure following Professor Alexis Jay's report. She was responsible for keeping girls from the hands of abusers like the 3 who have been jailed and she did not. Why was that? Where is she? Why has she not been held to account?
Martin Kimber was the Chief Executive of Rotherham Council and paid £160,000 which he clung onto for dear life until he was forced to leave and took a £26,000 pay off. He CLUNG ON. Didn't they all? Where is he now? Why was he never brought to account for his failings?
Roger Stone was leader of Rotherham Council and highlighted as a bully in the Jay report. He resigned eventually. He had presided over the entire culture of ignorance, neglect and inaction. Where is he now? Why was he never held to account.
But when Hell really gets dark. When the fires really ignite. It is this man that needs to get his arse burned fastest I think.
Let's take a look at this man.
- In 2002 he was a councillor. He attacked a man in a restaurant when a member of his family called him to come and help him with his drunken brawl. He was given 130 hours of community service. http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/jun/19/politics.labour
- Jahangir Akhtar was Deputy Leader of Rotherham Council. The council charged with appalling inaction and neglect by the Alexis Jay report.
- Jahangir Akhtar refused to apologise for any part he may have played in the child sexual abuse scandal. He refused to apologise to girls that were neglected by a council of which he was Deputy Leader.
- When Shaun Wright left his post as Children's Services Cabinet Member he was given a place on the Police Authority. This was the body in charge of scrutinising the police. The same police who currently have 54 outstanding investigations into officers who may have been involved in covering up child sexual abuse in Rotherham. The Police Authority was scrapped and replaced (sort of) by The Police And Crime Panel.
- In October 2012 Jahangir Akhtar was elected chair of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel. The Police And Crime Panel would be the body that scrutinised the South Yorkshire Police And Crime Commissioner. That would be Shaun Wright. You can see where I'm going with all this?
- Jahangir Akhtar was investigated for his part in handing over a girl to the police on a garage forecourt after she had been reported missing. The man who had "taken" her was Arshid Hussain. He was a relative of Jahangir Akhtar's. He allegedly "brokered" the deal that she be handed over to police and Hussain would not be prosecuted. This is Arshid Hussain - who has just been found guilty of raping numerous girls in Rotherham and sentenced to 35 years in prison. Briefly let that sink in. If you can.
- Jahangir Akhtar shuffled quietly away from the council and went back to driving taxis in Rotherham. Taxi drivers were a huge part of the investigation into child sexual abuse. Jahangir Akhtar was Leader Of The Taxi Driver's Association at one point.
- A girl has accused a Rotherham councillor named Akhtar of rape - this was reported shortly before the recent trial where a trio of his relatives were sent to jail for a total of 79 years.
- Jahangir Akhtar has had his taxi license suspended. Not revoked.
Hell is Murky. So is Rotherham.
Here is a relative of the convicted men discussing how Hussain could not possibly have committed any abuse .... it is very hard to watch.
Let's be having you Jahangir Akhtar. You need a time being asked a lot of questions. A lot of questions. Why has he not been arrested yet? Let's keep asking. On behalf of raped girls in Rotherham... let's keep asking.
Relevant articles and reports.....