New reviews of child sex cases in South Yorkshire

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A new squad of detectives is to be created to investigate allegations of historic child sexual exploitation in South Yorkshire.

The probe is one of three major reviews into how organisations across the county manage such cases.

Two further reviews, requested by South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright will examine police processes for such investigations and a review of historic cases to find out why charges were not brought.

The announcement comes after four women said they were considering taking legal action against Rotherham Council for failing to protect them from ‘predatory’ men as children.

South Yorkshire authorities were also criticised for past handling of child sexual exploitation cases in a report released earlier this year.

Commissioner Wright said: “There can be no greater priority for me than ensuring the people who are most vulnerable in society are properly supported, cared for and protected from harm.

“Recent events, locally and nationally, have highlighted the sad reality that children were, and continue to be, exploited for the purposes of sexual gratification.

“I am determined to continue to do everything I can to stop such abuse from happening today, and to review historic cases which, for whatever reason, did not lead to a prosecution.”

The commissioner has asked Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to review the processes and structures in place within South Yorkshire Police used to investigate allegations of child sexual exploitation.

And he has asked the Chief Crown Prosecutor to conduct a similar review of all historic cases in which the Crown Prosecution Service was involved in considering whether charges should be brought

Commissioner Wright added: “I believe the approach taken today by South Yorkshire Police in investigating allegations of child sexual exploitation is vastly improved and bears little if any resemblance to the approach taken in the past.

“But I want to be certain the approach, the processes and the systems used by South Yorkshire are right.”