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Victim claims council ‘ignored’ call for help
ONE of the young victims of the Oxford child sex ring has accused Oxfordshire County Council of “ignoring” her and her family.
Girl 3 was abused by Akhtar and Anjum Dogar and Mohammed and Bassam Karrar between the ages of 13 and 15.
But she told The Guardian that, despite “lies” to the contrary by County Hall, she and her family had not received any support from the council.
She said: “The council put out a press release claiming they had offered wraparound care to all the girls and their families, but the first we heard from them in five years was a letter on April 13 from Jim Leivers [director for children, education and families at the council], where he says he’s been ‘closely involved in providing support’ to me.
“That’s a complete lie. My family have had no support or offers of help at all from Oxfordshire. Nothing. Not at any point. Not even a phone call.
“The last contact we had with the council was five whole years ago, when my mum was begging them to help her stop me go off the rails. They ignored her then and they’ve ignored us since.”
A county council spokesman said: “We are sorry the abuse was not stopped sooner.
“One of the elements of the serious case review will be an investigation of the support offered to the girls by agencies, including social services.
“Our offer of a meeting with Girl 3 and her family was very sincere and similar offers to the other girls have been accepted.
“We want to do everything we can to help all the girls rebuild their lives and our door is open to Girl 3 and her family.”
He said support included offering a named social worker to each individual, witness support whilst in court, secure alternative accommodation, fast track to emotional and psychological health services and help getting them back to employment, training or education.
He said the other victims in Operation Bullfinch had accepted a meeting with the council but refused to discuss Girl 3’s case specifically.
Police also said last night a special helpline manned by officers working on the case would be reviewed.
The confidential hotline for anyone concerned about child sexual exploitation will be manned from 8am until midnight for the next week.
The number is 01865 266255, and outside of these hours, people can contact a police officer directly on 101.
Police spokesman Chris Kearney said operators on the 101 number had been trained to deal with calls from potential victims.
He said: “We feel that the hotline directly into the investigation team will be a good point of contact for anyone who feels they need to speak to us.
“We have briefed our call handlers who man the 101 number so they are briefed on the sensitivities around those who may come forward.”
He also said the hotline would be constantly reviewed to see if it should be kept operational longer.
The confidential helpline was launched in January.
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