EXCLUSIVE: Shaun Wright will not face IPCC investigation over Rotherham scandal complaints

Shaun Wright
Shaun Wright

Former police and crime commissioner Shaun Wright will not face investigation over his knowledge of the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has ruled there is ‘no evidence’ to suggest Mr Wright may have committed any criminal act after three complaints were made about him.

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright attends a meeting at Rotherham Town Hall where he is expected to face questions by the panel which oversees his work since the publication of the Jay Report into child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham which detailed how at least 1,400 children were subjected to horrors including rape, violence and trafficking for sex between 1997 and 2013. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 11, 2014. See PA story INQUIRY Rotherham. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright attends a meeting at Rotherham Town Hall where he is expected to face questions by the panel which oversees his work since the publication of the Jay Report into child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham which detailed how at least 1,400 children were subjected to horrors including rape, violence and trafficking for sex between 1997 and 2013. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 11, 2014. See PA story INQUIRY Rotherham. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

The IPCC can only investigate commissioners if there is evidence they may have committed a criminal offence, either while in office or prior to them taking up the role.

Details of the decision were revealed at a meeting of South Yorkshire’s police and crime panel at Rotherham Town Hall this week.

A report to the meeting said: “Three complaints were referred to the IPCC in relation to the former police commissioner.

“The IPCC commissioner has recently written to the legal advisor to the effect the IPCC does not intend to investigate the complaints further as the letters of complaint did not provide any actual evidence to support the claim the previous police and crime commissioner committed a criminal offence.

“The IPCC’s decision is therefore that there is insufficient information to suggest Mr Wright may have committed a criminal act and hence there is no requirement for an IPCC investigation.

“The IPCC further stated that if concerns arise later that might merit this decision being reconsidered, the matter should be referred back to them.”

Mr Wright resigned as South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner in September – having been elected in November 2012 – following criticism in the wake of the independent Jay report.

Professor Alexis Jay’s report said at least 1,400 children in Rotherham had been victims of sexual exploitation between 1997 and 2013 while authorities turned a blind eye, because of sensitivities around the ethnicity of offenders – largely men of Pakistani heritage.

Prior to being elected commissioner, Mr Wright had been a Rotherham Council member and was responsible for overseeing children’s services between 2005 and 2010.

A spokesman for the IPCC said: “The IPCC received two referrals from South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Panel in September and December 2014 relating to Shaun Wright, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire.

“The referrals stemmed from three complaints about Mr Wright’s role at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and his alleged knowledge of child sexual exploitation, following publication of Alexis Jay’s Independent Enquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham.

“The IPCC can only investigate Police and Crime Commissioners if there is evidence that they may have committed a criminal offence, either while in office or prior to them becoming Police and Crime Commissioners.

“The IPCC carefully considered the allegations against Mr Wright, the findings of the Jay Report and Louise Casey’s review of Rotherham MBC. There was no evidence, from any source, to suggest that Mr Wright may have committed a criminal offence. It has therefore been decided there is no requirement for an investigation involving the IPCC.”