South Yorkshire Police chiefs ‘anticipate’ more prosecutions over child sexual exploitation

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Police chiefs in South Yorkshire ‘anticipate’ further prosecutions over child sexual exploitation in the county - but have warned that some investigations could take months.

Of 276 offences recorded over the last year, 71 have led to suspects being charged or cautioned.

There are 193 ‘live investigations’ into allegations currently underway.

South Yorkshire Police made the issue a priority following a report which suggested that 1,400 children from Rotherham were abused by largely Pakistani-heritage men between 1997 and 2013 while authorities turned a blind eye.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “The force continues to investigate a large number of child sexual exploitation-related crimes and we continue to prosecute offenders.

“A number of complex investigations are still ongoing into many of those offences and further prosecutions are anticipated.

“Investigations of this nature can take many months to complete particularly when the offences occurred a long time ago. However, we are determined to bring those responsible for these horrendous crimes to justice and will use every tool at our disposal.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said: “It is shocking to see the number of live investigations across South Yorkshire. But while this means that young people are being abused in ways many of us cannot comprehend, it does mean that victims are more willing to come forward and know they will be listened to.”