THE horrific abuse perpetrated on 1,400 young girls in Rotherham over 16 years is almost impossible to comprehend.

A report into this horror story by Professor Alexis Jay is truly shocking.

It states that children as young as 11 were “raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated … doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone.”

The report added that the majority of known perpetrators were of Pakistani heritage.

Regrettably, it appears that those charged with protecting young people – like the council’s children’s services and the police – were more afraid of being deemed racist than of failing in their duty.

And so they turned a blind eye to the cars awaiting victims outside school gates, despite frantic calls from teachers and parents.

Due to the assumption that these girls knew what they were doing, nothing was done to save them.

The concern is that this appalling behaviour is more widespread.

Only two years ago, in Rochdale, for example, eight British Pakistani men were convicted of sex trafficking young white girls.

It seems nothing has changed. Inquiries are being demanded, but they take time and, meanwhile, those who should take responsibility for failing to act have hunkered down.

One of them is South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner, the former head of children’s services for Rotherham.

At the time of writing, only the head of Rotherham Council has resigned.

The Home Secretary told the Commons this week that “institutionalised political correctness” lay behind the “dereliction of duty” shown by the authorities.

It’s a sobering assessment.