There are now more than 100 allegations against 42 police officers relating to South Yorkshire Police’s handling of reported child sex exploitation, the IPCC has announced.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has been investigating the way officers both serving and retired have handled sex abuse cases, which came about as a result of the Rotherham abuse scandal.
The body has now expanded its probe into the force after 30 more complaints were made to the IPCC about the way officers handled Rotherham CSE in the last five months.
In November 2014 the IPCC announced 10 police officers were involved in incidents highlighted in the Jay Report - which exposed that at least 1,400 girls had been abused in the town between 1997 and 2013.
Since then, the body has received 30 more complaints relating to the force’s handling of CSE in Rotherham.
The IPCC’s statement said: “The complaints contain more than 100 allegations against 42 named police officers, both retired and serving, as well as a number of allegations against officers whose identities are currently unknown. “Work to establish the identity of the unknown officers and to identify any links between the different complaints and incidents is ongoing.
“The allegations range from neglect of duty by failing to adequately investigate on the basis of intelligence or to deal with incidents appropriately, inappropriate comments and suggestions of corrupt relationships between police officers and offenders.
“In addition, the Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating an allegation that South Yorkshire Police failed to act on information passed to them in 2004 and 2006 about alleged child sexual exploitation in Sheffield.
“This complaint relates to two named police officers who are now retired from the police service.”
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings said: “The statement from the IPCC shows two things.
“First that they have grasped the need to pursue their investigation with a sense of urgency and to keep the public of South Yorkshire informed of progress. And second that people do now seem to have confidence to come forward and speak to the authorities about their experiences.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner I fully support the process of thorough investigation of all allegations. I believe this shows that I was absolutely right to call for an inspection of the force over child sexual exploitation and we will work with the IPCC to ensure that there is no unnecessary overlapping or duplicating of efforts.
“I have been in touch with the Home Office this week. I have asked my Chief Executive to draw up the terms of reference for a full inspection so that as soon as the election is over we shall be in a position to commission the most appropriate person to carry it out. I want to see a speedy though rigorous inspection that looks across South Yorkshire as a whole.
“I appreciate how unsettling this is for South Yorkshire Police. But we have to be sure that we have the whole truth and that we fully understand the scale and nature of what has happened, and that we are confident that things have changed or are changing. Only then can we start to rebuild trust and confidence.”
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “South Yorkshire Police has referred a number of complaints to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in relation to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
“We remain committed to assisting them with their independent investigation into any alleged misconduct.”