- Serious case review reveals how hundreds of victims were not protected
- The almost 400 victims were raped and trafficked between 1999 and 2014
- Six girls alone reported missing 500 times in 5 years but nothing was done
- Police and social workers said some lied or 'brought it on themselves'
- Gangs of predominantly Pakistani men were able to abuse girls unhindered
- One Asian gang was able to abuse 50 girls over eight years in Oxford
- Officials 'lacked curiosity' when a 12-year-old was using contraceptives
- PM says girls abused on 'industrial scale' and blames 'walk on by' culture
- Police chief says 'children are being sexually exploited all over the country'
A total of 373 girls suffered sexual abuse in Oxfordshire but police and social workers blamed many for 'bringing it on themselves', a report into 'indescribably awful' child sexual exploitation has found.
Over 15 years hundreds of victims as young as 11 were groomed, raped and forced into prostitution by gangs of men 'predominantly of Pakistani heritage', a serious case review has found.
Today police and council bosses said they were 'horrified' and 'ashamed' by what happened between 1999 and 2014 but nobody has yet been disciplined over what happened.
David Cameron said this afternoon children in Oxford were abused on an 'industrial scale' with too many people and organisations 'walking on by'.
The damning 114-page report said for years victims were in a 'living hell from which they couldn't extricate themselves' after 'hostile' officials wrote some off as 'difficult girls making bad choices' when they begged for help.
One gang of Asian men was responsible for abusing and enslaving 50 girls, mainly from Oxford, but the men were also able to sexually torture girls for eight years after a series of missed opportunities to stop them.
Maggie Blyth, chair of the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board, admitted years of errors 'allowed offenders to get away with their crimes' but she found no cases of neglect or misconduct by staff.
Alan Bedford, the author of the independent review, wrote: 'What happened to the child victims of the sexual exploitation in Oxfordshire was indescribably awful.
'The child victims and their families feel very let down. Their accounts of how they perceived professional work are disturbing and chastening.'
His report revealed that six girls who were being abused were reported missing 500 times in five years but the authorities failed to act, today's report said.
The devastating 114-page report today also revealed:
- Girls were hooked on drink and drugs before being offered for sex in Oxford and across Britain
- The victims were 'white girls' and the perpetrators were 'predominantly of Pakistani heritage'
- Girls were tortured with meat cleavers, baseball bats and sex toys by men who would also bite, scratch, suffocate, burn them and even urinate on them
- Those abused by gangs who went to social workers or police were often 'disbelieved' or told they were 'bringing problems upon themselves'
- Children who said they were being abused were considered to be consenting to sex with adults and written off as 'difficult girls making bad choices'
- Staff made 'snide remarks' and were 'hostile' to girls who came to them for help
- Professionals showed a persistent 'lack of curiosity', even in one case where a 12-year-old abuse victim linked to a gang was known to be using contraceptives
- Parents who complained their child was missing or had been raped were seen as 'part of the problem'
- The perpetrators told one parent of a girl they habitually abused: 'They threatened to kill me and behead my daughter's baby'
Some girls were raped repeatedly by groups in attacks that would last for 'days at a time' in guest houses and empty flats, and some were tortured with baseball bats, meat cleavers and sex toys.
Jailed: Brothers Akhtar Dogar (left) and Anjum Dogar (right) were each given a life sentence with a minimum of 17 years at the Old Bailey in 2013 for their role in the Oxford abuse
Abusers: Mohammed Karrar (left), 38, was given life with a minimum of 20 years for the 'dreadful offences' he committed against the girls. His brother Bassam Karrar (right), 34, was also handed a life sentence with a minimum of 15 years
Attackers: Kamar Jamil (left), 27, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 12 years while Assad Hussain (right) , 32, was sentenced to seven years in prison
Men from other cities would also visit girls for sex 'by appointment' set up by Oxford paedophiles, who would also transport their underage sex slaves to London and Bournemouth to be abused.
In harrowing testimony the report said one Oxford victim told investigators: 'I turned up at a police station, blood all over my body, soaked through my trousers to the crotch. They dismissed it as me being naughty, a nuisance'.
Social services 'washed their hands' of one victim and told her 'It's your choice' while another manager said: 'She's streetwise, she loves it', the report said.
Paedophile: Zeeshan Ahmed, 28, was jailed for seven years for two counts of sexual activity with a child
One police officer dismissed a case against a 13-year-old because she looked 16, it was said.
Victims were groomed using drugs, alcohol and gifts before they were physically assaulted, forced into prostitution, raped and drugged, the report said.
Their abusers kept them 'hooked in' by making the girls dependent on alcohol and drugs, which they then 'paid for' with sex.
However, investigations of the response of organisations including Oxfordshire County Council and Thames Valley Police found that victims' accounts were not believed or they were seen as exaggerated
Maggie Blyth said: 'It is shocking that these children were subjected to such appalling sexual exploitation for so long'.
Ms Blyth said that parents and carers of vulnerable girls raised concerns which were sometimes 'not given the weight they deserved'.
She also said that officials could not understand that the victims could not say 'no' because they were being groomed by men who had a hold over their lives.
Scores of professionals across a string of organisations or departments 'took a long time to recognise child sexual exploitation (CSE),
used language that appeared at least in part to blame victims and see them as adults, and had a view that little could be done in the face of 'no co-operation',' the report said.
Sara Thornton, chief constable of Thames Valley Police, said: 'We are ashamed of the shortcomings identified in this report and we are determined to do all we can to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.'
im Leivers, director for children, education and families at Oxfordshire County Council, said the authority is 'horrified', adding: 'We fully accept that we made many mistakes and missed opportunities to stop the abuse.'
PM SAYS LAWS WILL BE CHANGED AFTER OXFORD GIRLS WERE ABUSED ON 'INDUSTRIAL SCALE'
Oxford City Council said the report clearly showed the girls were 'badly let down by the organisations that could - and should - have protected them'.
The NHS in Oxfordshire said it regretted 'the abuse was not uncovered and information acted on sooner'.
Former Oxfordshire County Council leader Keith Mitchell admitted he had not understood the scale of the problem and said they had 'failed badly'.
He told BBC Radio 4's World At One programme: 'I can't believe that by 2012 I wasn't being briefed that there was a problem.
'Not sure I ever really understood the scale and I certainly didn't understand what a huge problem this was in Oxfordshire and, it seems, across the country.'
He added: 'I don't know how I could have dug into the organisation better. I thought I knew the organisation pretty well. I knew all the senior people, I worked the job and I don't know how I could have raised this issue without knowing it was such an issue.'
Mr Mitchell said 'people at the grassroots' did not push the issue and 'weren't inquisitive enough'.
'It feels like there was a sense that this was just too difficult a problem because many of the girls wouldn't co-operate and there wasn't an evidence base there.
He added: 'We are not a Rotherham and I will not have that suggestion made. We are a good council and we have put in place the measures that are necessary to stamp this evil out.'
The report said that since around 2011 'many lessons have been learned' and services for children vulnerable to CSE 'have been improved considerably'.
The report said: 'The association, not of all CSE but group-based CSE, with mainly Pakistan heritage is undeniable, and prevention will need both national understanding, communication and debate, and also work with faith groups at a local level.'
However, the report said that there was 'no evidence ... of any agency not acting when they should have done because of racial sensitivities'.
Asian paedophile ring 'who owned Oxford' abused at least 50 girls in eight-year reign of terror
One gang of Asian men was responsible for abusing and enslaving 50 of the girls, mainly from Oxford, but the men were also able to sexually torture girls for eight years after a series of missed opportunities to stop them.
One victim said that they believed they 'owned Oxford' because the authorities failed to act for so many years.
Some were abused for up to eight years despite asking for help from the authorities, who instead refused to believe them or blamed them.
Jailed: The gang, five of Pakistani origin and two of north African origin, believed they 'owned Oxford' during their years of abusing children
Their abusers fed them drink and drugs before taking them to graveyards, a B&B and flats rented just for the rape and torture of children.
AGE OF CONSENT SHOULD BE INCREASED, SAYS LABOUR MP
One 12-year-old girl was taken to a Reading house for a backstreet abortion during a six-year period where she was passed between groups of men who raped her in what she called 'torture sex'.
The plight of the victims was laid bare in 2013 when seven members of a sadistic gang were jailed for a total of 95 years for their 'depraved' and 'evil' abuse of vulnerable girls.
Five gang members were given life sentences and two others were jailed for seven years for 'crimes of the utmost gravity'.
The paedophile network groomed more than 50 vulnerable girls in Oxford between 2004 and 2012 with gifts, alcohol and drugs before subjecting them to extreme physical and sexual violence.
They used knives, meat cleavers and baseball bats to inflict severe pain on the girls for their twisted pleasure.
But a catalogue of opportunities to stop the abuse was missed as early as May 2005.
On numerous occasions girls told police officers, social workers and care staff in children's homes how they were raped or seriously sexually abused – but no charges were brought against the gang.
Three of the girls who gave evidence at the trial were reported missing from residential care on 254 occasions.
And the judge in the case, Judge Peter Rook, said 'police and social services missed tell-tale signs' about the abuse that was taking place.
One social worker had earlier told the trial that 'nine out of ten' people who were meant to be caring for the girls 'knew what was going on'.
Life sentences were handed to Akhtar Dogar, 32, and his brother Anjum, 31, who were both jailed for a minimum of 17 years, Mohammed Karrar, 38, who will serve a minimum of 20 years, his brother Bassam, 33, jailed for a minimum of 15 years and Kamar Jamil, 27, jailed for a minimum of 12 years. Assad Hussain, 32, and Zeeshan Ahmed, 27, were jailed for seven years.
Police, council and health bosses admit they are all 'ashamed' that hundreds were abused on their watch
Thames Valley Police force is 'ashamed' of its 'shortcomings' outlined in the report, and others described its findings as 'deeply disturbing'.
Chief Constable Sara Thornton reiterated an apology to victims and their families for not identifying the systematic nature of the abuse sooner.
She acknowledged that the review highlighted that Thames Valley Police was among agencies that could have identified the exploitation between 2004 and 2010 earlier than it did and 'many errors were made'.
Apology: Thames Valley chief Sara Thornton and council boss Jim Leivers both apologised, calling the abuse in Oxfordshire horrifying
She said: 'We are ashamed of the shortcomings identified in this report and we are determined to do all we can to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.'
Jim Leivers, Oxfordshire County Council's director for children, education and families, said the council 'made many mistakes and missed opportunities to stop the abuse'.
In a statement, Oxford City Council said the report 'shows very clearly that the girls were badly let down by the people and organisations that could - and should - have protected them'.
The statement said: 'The dreadful experiences faced by these young women can never be put right. But the safeguarding board is now in a much better position to prevent, disrupt and detect these crimes.'
It also said evidence shows that child sexual exploitation is 'continuing' in Oxfordshire.
A joint statement from NHS organisations in Oxfordshire expressed 'regret that the abuse was not uncovered and information acted on sooner'.
It said: 'What happened to these children is truly awful. While the review finds no evidence of 'misconduct' by the organisations involved, there are clearly areas for improvement in terms of being able to recognise signs of abuse and sharing information.'