Social services and police “missed opportunities” to stop the sexual abuse of young girls in Rochdale, a report into a grooming scandal has revealed.

“Deficiencies” and “patchy” training of front-line staff were behind the failings, the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board said in its review of child sexual exploitation.

It comes after nine men were jailed in May for grooming girls as young as 13.

Lawyers say the findings could support “legal action against social services”.

The report ordered after the grooming cases came to light in Rochdale, Greater Manchester – reviews the work of local agencies, including the council, police and the Crown Prosecution Service between 2007 and 2012 in safeguarding children at risk of sexual exploitation.

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