Keighley and Ilkely MP Robbie Moore has called for an independent ‘Rotherham-style’ inquiry into child sexual abuse in West Yorkshire.

This call follows the release of a damning review this summer into child sexual exploitation and child safeguarding practices across the Bradford district over the last 20 years.

The review which focused on five children found they had experienced grotesque sexual abuse, there had been multi-agency failings by Bradford Council and that the council are still missing signs of child sexual abuse.

A ‘Rotherham style’ inquiry – which could be commissioned by Bradford Council would be similar to that established by Rotherham Council in 2013, and conducted by an independent chair.

The aim of the inquiry would be to look at the handling of child-sexual-exploitation reports by Bradford Council, West Yorkshire Police and other agencies, ‘common threads’ of where abuse has taken place, and to look at what needs to change to avoid these crimes happening again.

Mr Moore said: “Since becoming Keighley’s MP, I have heard abhorrent stories from victims of child sexual exploitation and grooming gangs. These are vile and disgusting crimes. It is high time this issue was finally tackled once and for all.

"That is why I am calling on Bradford Council to launch an independent ‘Rotherham-style’ inquiry into child sexual abuse so these issues can be looked at independently, bring this criminal minority to justice and protect children and young people.

In order to move forward we need to understand the true scale of this issue. A review which only looks at five children just isn’t good enough. This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Jane Booth, Independent Chair of The Bradford Partnership – Working Together to Safeguard Children, said: “Child sexual exploitation is a national issue, and like many local authorities, we know that agencies in our district have made mistakes in the past.

"We commissioned the review to look in detail at multi-agency responses to CSE and how we can work with our partners to learn from the past. It is an extremely detailed and thorough review carried out by an independent author.

"It not only looks in great depth at five cases, but also looks at other reviews carried out in Bradford as well as national learning and best practice and is part of a wider process of scrutiny, the district undertakes.

“There is a consensus amongst agencies that investing in developing our services and how we work together to protect children is the best use of resource.

"A public inquiry would cost a huge amount of money, use precious officer time, and is unlikely to provide us with any new learning that would better protect children from being abused.”

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the Leader of Bradford Council, said: “Child sexual exploitation is a horrific crime, which all of us want to prevent. We know that some have asked for a public inquiry in the past before the independent CSE thematic review was commissioned.

"However, as well as this recent independent review we had already referred ourselves to the Government’s national independent inquiry on child sexual abuse (IICSA). In addition we hold a review of the district’s work on CSE annually in public.

"Writing another report would not save one child, or prosecute one additional perpetrator. All our focus needs to be on safeguarding children now and supporting victims of historic crimes to prosecute the perpetrators.”

Bradford District Commander Chief Superintendent Daniel Greenwood, added: “We have had a number of successful outcomes at court involving perpetrators being given lengthy prison sentences and continue to work tirelessly to bring offenders to justice.”