Almost 900 reports of child sex abuse to South Yorkshire Police last year

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Almost 900 reports of child sexual exploitation have been made to South Yorkshire Police in the last year alone, according to a new report.

The study by South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings states that 894 reports of child sexual exploitation were made between April 2015 and March 2016 – an average of 75 per month.

The report further states that the force is currently investigating 183 child sex abuse cases.

Dr Billings said in the report that 50 per cent of the child sex cases recorded relate to offending occurring more than a year prior to the incident, but many are ‘committed considerably earlier’.

He said: “The historic nature of many of the recorded child sexual exploitation crimes makes them extremely difficult to investigate.

The findings come less than three months after the Drew Report concluded South Yorkshire Police had been ‘seriously under-resourced’ in its early attempts to tackle CSE and its response to safeguarding those at risk had been ‘inadequate’ – particularly in Rotherham.

The Drew Report was commissioned in the wake of the Jay Report which found that at least 1,400 girls were abused in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

Dr Billings said: “In the past 12 months, South Yorkshire has received considerable scrutiny in the area of child sexual exploitation and has feedback from several sources.

“The HMIC in their most recent inspection covering CSE noted that South Yorkshire Police had a ‘very good understanding” of child sexual exploitation. The Drew review recognises that the force has made progress in relation to many areas including raising awareness, safeguarding, investigating, training and online investigations.”