Police are investigating 18 potential suspects over the alleged abuse of almost 300 children in Rotherham during the period covered by the Jay report, it has been revealed.
Two separate ‘very large’ investigations are being carried out by South Yorkshire Police into offences against 283 victims that are said to have happened within the timeframe covered by the independent inquiry report.
Police have also revealed they are currently running 48 live child sexual exploitation inquiries in Rotherham, nine of which fall into the period covered by the Jay report, 1997 to 2013.
The Jay report revealed at least 1,400 children in the town had been victims of child sexual exploitation.
The details have been revealed by police after three Rotherham MPs wrote to chief constable David Crompton to ask for information about how the force is handling child sexual exploitation investigations.
John Healey, writing also on behalf of Sarah Champion and Kevin Barron, said: “Greater wider confidence in the police – especially that of victims – will be built on seeing you do your job of bringing the full force of justice down on those who have committed such dreadful crimes. We want to be sure ourselves, and in turn be able to reassure constituents, that this is indeed the case.”
A spokeswoman said the force is in ‘ongoing dialogue’ with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, with a ‘number of referrals’ expected to be made to the watchdog in the wake of the Jay report.
Mr Crompton has also initiated a fully independent investigation following the publication of the report.
He said: “I am in discussion with the National Crime Agency to consider the role they could play in hosting the independent investigation I have commissioned into child sexual exploitation in South Yorkshire. This will ensure any investigation is conducted fairly, rigorously and with complete impartiality.”
A police spokeswoman added: “There are currently 48 live CSE inquiries in Rotherham, involving numerous victims and offenders.
“Of those investigations, nine fall within the timeframe covered by the independent inquiry report – two are very large investigations comprising of 283 potential victims involving 18 potential suspects. We are committed to bringing those responsible for CSE to justice.
“We would encourage any victim of CSE to come forward and report it to police, in the confidence that they will be listened to, that they will be taken seriously and that a thorough investigation will take place.”
Since January 2013, 37 people have been convicted of CSE offences in South Yorkshire, with court proceedings pending against 21 people.