Investigation into CSE allegations against two Rotherham councillors made ‘priority’

Rotherham Town Hall. Picture: Andrew Roe
Rotherham Town Hall. Picture: Andrew Roe
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An investigation into allegations that two ‘current or former’ Rotherham councillors were involved in child sexual exploitation is being prioritised by the National Crime Agency.

Officials from Operation Stovewood, the NCA’s probe into abuse in Rotherham that took place between 1997 and 2013, have said six specific new investigations have been identified so far following reviews of previous South Yorkshire Police cases.

Of the six, two have been prioritised - one of which is an investigation into criminal allegations referred by Louise Casey following her inspection of Rotherham Council.

More than 60 officers and staff are now involved with Operation Stovewood, which has now identified ‘more than 7,300 lines of enquiry to pursue’.

A spokesman said: “We have the names of hundreds of potential suspects and hundreds of victims and survivors.”

Interviews with around 50 victims and survivors has been prioritised by the team, while the operation is expected to have assessed around 10,000 documents related to child sexual exploitation cases by the turn of the year.

It is understood that the investigation is not affected by a new NCA review of its live cases over fears that warrants and production orders may have been obtained unlawfully in past operations.