Wednesday, August 26, 2015

More than 100 Rotherham police officers investigated over ignored allegations of rape and child sexual exploitation

  • Independent Police Complaint Commission reveal scale of officer probe
  • Say they've received 47 referrals with more than 100 allegations in one year
  • Came after 2014's Jay Report was published into widespread sex abuse
  • Publication detailed how more than 1,400 children were sexually exploited by gangs of mainly Asian men in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013
Investigators looking at how the police treated complaints of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham say they are now working to identify more than 100 officers.
The Independent Police Complaint Commission (IPCC) said it is continuing to examine police conduct exactly a year on from the publication of the Jay Report, which shocked the nation with the scale of child rape, trafficking and grooming it uncovered in the South Yorkshire town.
Professor Alexis Jay's report described how more than 1,400 children were sexually exploited by gangs of mainly Asian males in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.
Investigators looking at how the police treated complaints of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham say they are now working to identify more than 100 officers who they believe let the public down
Investigators looking at how the police treated complaints of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham say they are now working to identify more than 100 officers who they believe let the public down
And it was scathing about a culture among police and council officials which ignored the industrial scale of abuse, instead treating the victims of child sexual exploitation (CSE) as troublesome teenagers.
The IPCC says it has received 47 referrals from South Yorkshire Police since the publication of the Jay Report, involving more than 100 allegations.
A spokeswoman said: 'Analysis of all the referrals has so far identified more than 60 officers.
'Further assessments are being carried out to establish the specific allegations against these individuals to determine what further actions are needed. Work is ongoing to identify more than 100 officers who are referenced in the referrals but are unnamed.'
The Jay Report was commissioned by the council after a high profile CSE trial and a series of damning reports about what was happening in the town.
The Independent Police Complaint Commission (IPCC) said it is continuing to examine police conduct exactly a year on from the publication of the Jay Report, which shocked the nation with the scale of child rape, trafficking and grooming it uncovered in the South Yorkshire town
The Independent Police Complaint Commission (IPCC) said it is continuing to examine police conduct exactly a year on from the publication of the Jay Report, which shocked the nation with the scale of child rape, trafficking and grooming it uncovered in the South Yorkshire town
Professor Alexis Jay's report described how more than 1,400 children were sexually exploited by gangs of mainly Asian males in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013
Professor Alexis Jay's report described how more than 1,400 children were sexually exploited by gangs of mainly Asian males in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013
Its impact was generated by the sheer scale of offending that it outlined and the horrific details it included of what had happened to girls as young as 11.
Prof Jay said at the time she had found 'utterly appalling' examples of 'children who had been 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'.
She said: 'They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated.'
Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police were roundly criticised in its wake and a series off high profile resignations culminated in the departure of South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Shaun Wright, who was the councillor in charge of Rotherham's children's services between 2005 and 2010.
Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police were roundly criticised in its wake and a series off high profile resignations culminated in the departure of South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Shaun Wright (pictured)
Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police were roundly criticised in its wake and a series off high profile resignations culminated in the departure of South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Shaun Wright (pictured)
A further review of Rotherham Council by the Government's Troubled Families chief, Louise Casey, heaped more criticism on an authority she labelled as 'not fit for purpose' and 'in denial' and the then communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles handed over its powers to a panel of appointed commissioners.
Both the council and the police say their focus over the last 12 months has been on building trust among survivors.
South Yorkshire Police says it now has a team of more than 60 officers working on child sexual exploitation and the National Crime Agency has been brought in to investigate historical crimes.
A £3 million initiative was announced earlier this month which will see a Barnardo's team of specialist workers work with children at risk of being sexually exploited.
But, earlier this week, a solicitor representing 58 women who were subjected to CSE in Rotherham said only a fraction of victims had come forward.
David Greenwood said he believes fewer than 100 of the girls involved have engaged with the raft of new inquiries. He said that the police and council have made progress in the town in the last 12 months but that he believes many survivors will only trust the system once a truly independent agency is brought in.

ROTHERHAM CHILD ABUSE: HOW SCANDAL UNFOLDED OVER TWO DECADES

Early to mid 1990s
According to a report published last year, community workers come across examples of child sexual exploitation and find children under the care of the local authority are at risk of being targeted.
1997
The 'Risky Business' youth project is set up to work with people between the ages of 11 and 25 in Rotherham, amid concerns young people are being abused through prostitution.
Late 1990s
Youth workers start to identify vulnerable girls and young women on Rotherham's streets and refer them to children's social care.
Early 2000s 
A small group of professionals from key agencies meet children at risk of, or involved in, child sexual exploitation but their work is not properly supported, according to the Jay report.
Senior police and social workers think the extent of the issue is being exaggerated.  
2002
A Home Office draft report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham criticises agencies and says there is a 'high prevalence of young women being coerced and abused through prostitution'.
Police and senior officers at the council are unhappy with the report, claiming some facts are either exaggerated or made up.
Authorities in Rotherham were given repeated warnings about the scale of the issue, but failed to respond
Authorities in Rotherham were given repeated warnings about the scale of the issue, but failed to respond
August 2003
A report by strategic drugs analyst Dr Angie Heal, commissioned by South Yorkshire Police, finds there are a 'significant number of girls and some boys who are being sexually exploited' in Rotherham. 
April 2007
An investigation into the grooming and sexual abuse of young boys identifies more than 70 alleged victims. A man is convicted of offences against 10 children.  
2008
Operation Central is set up to investigate men believed to be involved in child sexual exploitation.
Autumn 2009
Ofsted rates Rotherham's children's services as 'inadequate'.
December 2009
The minister of state for young people and families serves the council with an improvement notice for its children's safeguarding services.
2010 
Five men given lengthy jail terms after they are found guilty of grooming teenage girls for sex.
April 2010
The local Safeguarding Children Board sets up a child sexual exploitation sub group.
September 2012
The Times publishes an investigation revealing that a confidential police report had warned thousands of child sexual exploitation crimes were being committed in South Yorkshire by networks of Asian men.
The newspaper also reports that agencies in the town had extensive knowledge of such crimes for decades. South Yorkshire Police denies claims in article. 
November 2012
Shaun Wright wins election to become South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. He states that tackling child sexual exploitation is one of his priorities. 
The full scale of the abuse was laid bare in a devastating report by Professor Alexis Jay last year
The full scale of the abuse was laid bare in a devastating report by Professor Alexis Jay last year
August 2013 
Four women sue the council for failing to protect them when they were children.  
August 2014
Professor Alexis Jay publishes commissioned report into child abuse in Rotherham, revealing more than 1,400 children had been subjected to rape, violence and trafficking between 1997 and 2013.
Rotherham Borough Council leader Roger Stone steps down with immediate effect. Mr Wright issues a statement saying he will stay in his job as PCC, despite calls for him to stand down. 
Home Secretary Theresa May backs calls for Mr Wright to step down and his deputy PCC Tracey Cheetham announces she is resigning because she is 'unable to continue' in her role. 
September 2014
Mr Wright resigns.
The Labour Party suspends four of its members pending an investigation: former leader of the council Roger Stone, ex-deputy council leader, Jahangir Akhtar, Gwendoline Russell, and Shaukat Ali.  
December 2014
National Crime Agency (NCA) begins investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham
February 2015  
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announces new elections in 2016 to replace Rotherham Council's 'wholly dysfunctional' political leadership. 

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