Commissioner orders CSE inquiry

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings. Picture: Andrew Roe
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings. Picture: Andrew Roe
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An independent inquiry which will investigate how police have handled complaints of child sexual exploitation in Doncaster is set to get under way next month.

The inquiry was commissioned by South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings in the wake of the Alexis Jay and Louise Casey reports that highlighted the shocking scale of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

Professor John Drew CBE, former chief executive of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, will lead the independent inquiry, which will seek to establish how South Yorkshire Police has handled allegations of CSE in Doncaster, as well as in Rotherham and Sheffield.

The review will also examine whether the scale of the problem is confined to Rotherham and look at the scale of the problem across South Yorkshire.

It will also look into if the force has acted upon the findings of previous reports and inspections.

Dr Billings said: “I have been working to determine the areas to be looked at to ensure there is no unnecessary overlap with other ongoing investigations and inspections.

“I want this review to be fast but thorough and I want a report at the end which satisfies me that South Yorkshire Police has genuinely acknowledged and fully addressed non-recent, as well as present day, occurrences of child sexual exploitation and I want to feel certain that robust plans are in place to ensure that nothing like this can ever happen again.

“Most of all I want to restore public confidence in South Yorkshire Police.”

Dr Billings added: “The force has many hard-working and dedicated officers and members of staff who are tirelessly chasing an end to the sexual exploitation of young people and I need to know that these officers and staff are supported to carry out their duties to the very best of their abilities.”

Other aims of the investigation will be to review South Yorkshire Police’s response to safeguarding to children and young people and whether it has been adequate. The inquiry will also attempt to determine if the current organisational culture across the four South Yorkshire districts is a help or a hindrance to future transparency.

The review will start in September and is expected to last for three months.

It is expected to be made public in early 2016.