18 Nov 2014

Police watchdog probes Rotherham abuse officers

The independent police watchdog announces 10 South Yorkshire Police officers are to be investigated over their conduct in relation to complaints of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

The IPCC said the officers were all identified through the Jay report, which found that more than 1,400 children had been subjected to sexual exploitation in the town between 1997 and 2013.

Professor Alexis Jay’s report criticised Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police for not taking action when children as young as 11 were raped by men, beaten, abducted, and regularly trafficked to other cities to be abused.

‘Positive step’

The watchdog’s commissioner Kathryn Stone 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.”

Today the IPCC identified seven parts of the report, which was published in August, that could lead to misconduct allegations against the officers under investigation.

The officers were originally part of a group of 13 referred to the IPCC. Two officers will not face investigation at this time, while the other is still under review.