Ten South Yorkshire Police officers to face investigation over Rotherham child exploitation scandal

Alexis Jay
Alexis Jay

Ten South Yorkshire Police officers are to be investigated over their handling of child sexual exploitation cases in Rotherham.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission will carry out the investigation after 13 officers were referred to the watchdog by South Yorkshire Police in the wake of the Jay report.

The IPCC said two of the other officers will not face investigation, while the status of the third remains under review.

IPCC Commissioner Kathryn Stone OBE said: “The amount of public concern across the country about this episode and the impact on confidence in the police means it is important that a fully independent investigation is conducted to establish how South Yorkshire Police dealt with child sexual exploitation.

“I sincerely hope that victims and their families will see this investigation as a positive step towards answering the many questions they must have. I have met with South Yorkshire Police and am reassured by their commitment to fully cooperate with the investigation.”

The ten officers being investigated were identified through Professor Alexis Jay’s independent review of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, which found at least 1,400 children had been abused over a 16-year period.

The allegations against the officers are:

*During a child protection conference an officer is alleged to have argued against the category of sexual abuse being used because he thought that the child had been 100 per cent consensual in every incident. This allegation relates to one officer.

*Intelligence records from June 2001 record that a named suspect was threatening a family and actively involved in encouraging the victim to engage in prostitution. There appears to be no police activity directed around the named suspect’s offending. No officer(s) have yet been identified in relation to this allegation.

*Allegation that evidence was lost in relation to a report that between 9 March 2003 and 3 April 2003, a victim had been raped on four occasions. The offender was named and arrested. This allegation relates to one officer.

*Allegation of a failure to progress an investigation into a report from a 14-year-old girl that she had been raped by an unknown male at an unknown location in Rotherham. Allegation relates to three officers.

*Allegation of a failure to adequately investigate an incident in which a young girl was found drunk in the back of a car and an individual had indecent photographs of her on his mobile phone. Allegation relates to two officers.

*An allegation of a failure to adequately investigate naked images of a young girl and possible evidence of group offending. This allegation relates to two officers.

*Allegations surrounding the police response to information supplied in 2001 highlighting concerns regarding child sexual exploitation issues in Rotherham. Allegation of lack of police action in response to two reports, one in 2003 entitled Sexual Exploitation, Drug Use and Drug Dealing: Current Situation in South Yorkshire and the other in 2006 entitled Violence and Gun Crime: Links with Sexual Exploitation, Prostitution and Drugs Markets in South Yorkshire. These allegations relate to one officer.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The force has met with the IPCC and remains absolutely committed to assisting them with their independent investigation in any way we can to ensure the full facts are established relating to any alleged misconduct.

“We will fully co-operate with the investigation into the force’s handling of child sexual exploitation and anyone found to have not acted appropriately will be held to account.”