LONDON, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- An independent report investigating child sexual exploitation in the English town of Rotherham published Tuesday reveals 1,400 children were sexually abused between 1997 and 2013.
The author of the report, Alexis Jay, writes that the statistical findings are "conservative estimates."
More than 30 percent of sexual abuse victims "were previously known to services because of child protection and child neglect."
The investigation found that "children would be reluctant to seek help because they would be ashamed and also afraid that they would be placed out of the area far away from their families and friends." In other instances, authorities arrested victims for drunkenness or disorderly behavior "with no action taken against the perpetrators of rape and sexual assault against children."
The report concluded there was systemic and long-term disregard for the "growing evidence that child sexual exploitation was a serious problem in Rotherham."
"Over the first twelve years covered by this inquiry, the collective failures of political and officer leadership were blatant."
Despite growing public and political pressure for South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright to step down, the man responsible for children's services for the Rotherham Council from 2005 to 2010 refuses to resign.