COMMUNITY members in East Oxford and Cowley have said they will work to build bridges after the child sexual exploitation scandal that shook the city.

Dr Hojjat Ramzy, director of the Cowley-based Oxford Islamic Information Centre, said the community needs to unite in the aftermath of the Serious Case Review into Operation Bullfinch.

In 2013 seven men, some of whom were described as having Muslim backgrounds, were jailed for a total of 95 years for raping, trafficking and prostituting six girls.

The review identified catastrophic failings in police and social services that allowed the sexual abuse to continue.

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Dr Ramzy said he wants to work with community leaders, social services and the police to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation among families across Oxford.

He said: “We need to bring the whole community together, young and old. We all need to learn.

Let’s all get together.”

Dr Ramzy said he wants to organise events in mosques with all-faith groups invited to educate families about child sexual exploitation and its detection and prevention, while providing advice and support to youngsters.

And he said he is planning to visit pupils in Oxfordshire schools, as well as across the country, to speak about the Bullfinch case and Islam.

He added: “They should learn, it’s a place of education.

Especially the girls, they should learn what the difference is between having a boyfriend or a good time and being groomed.

“I had no idea. I would have called the police straight away. I could have easily said there was a problem because it’s my duty.

“If any member of the community, Muslim or non-Muslim knew, they should be prosecuted because this is our duty, our Islamic duty and a duty to our country to save these children.”

Imam Monawar Hussain, founder of The Oxford Foundation which works with vulnerable young people, said the foundation is planning to provide training in every mosque across the city to help people spot signs of sexual exploitation.

The father-of-six, who has lived in Cowley for the last 25 years, said: “There are clear steps people need to take if they have concerns.

“I think we would like to have everyone trained up who works with young people in the mosques over the next couple of months.”