VOLUNTARY organisations have called for the authorities to use them more to help tackle child sexual exploitation in Oxfordshire.

The Serious Case Review criticised management systems within organisations, including the police, social services and NHS, for not acting quickly enough to tackle the abuse in the Bullfinch case.

Lisa Ward, manager of the Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre, said: “As the Bullfinch case so clearly shows, effective protection for young people requires all agencies to come together and share their expertise, understanding and ideas.

“We need to ensure that support agencies such as rape crisis centres continue to be sustained at both a local and national level.

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“This includes both financial support to ensure centres can remain open and meet the growing demand for services and using the 40 years’ experience and knowledge of the Rape Crisis network to help shape and inform policy.”

She said: “The review surrounding Operation Bullfinch highlights clear failures to protect girls within our local area. We must ensure that statutory services are resourced to spot warning signs and to prevent and protect people from abuse, and make sure that these systems and services are sustained.”

Caroline Lannartsson, director at Oxford Community Against Trafficking, said the group was eager to work with authorities, but added: “The police have been a lot more accepting of us than social services.

I think, personally, the police response has been a lot more humble and open.

There’s a lot of arrogance with the social services.”

Speaking about Joanna Simons, chief executive of Oxfordshire County Council, she said: “You can’t claim ignorance when you’re the leader.”