Sheffield peer calls for police inquiry

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A minister is to meet a Sheffield peer over the police’s handling of the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal.

Lord Paul Scriven asked Tory Home Office minister Lord Michael Bates for a new, independent probe into South Yorkshire Police’s performance over the case.

Lord Bates said he was not minded to order a new inquiry as existing investigations into cases and police officers were continuing.

However, he has agreed to meet with Lord Scriven, who has also invited Rotherham’s Labour MP Sarah Champion in a bid to make the discussions ‘cross party.’

Lord Scriven, a Liberal Democrat, said: “We have the investigation into officers and 75 cases, but nobody taking the helicopter view about the lack of performance and management.

“The Casey report says South Yorkshire Police are not operating at a level she expects.”

The Casey Report looked at Rotherham Council’s performance in the wake of last year’s Jay Report, which revealed at least 1,400 children in Rotherham had been victims of abuse between 1997 and 2013 – with police and council bosses aware but failing to act.

Lord Scriven said an inquiry was needed to look at police ‘failings’ and the force’s ‘inadequate responses in child sexual exploitation cases.’

Lord Bates said reviews were under way, but he was happy to ‘see what more can be done to learn lessons from that experience’.

A police spokesman said the force has come under a ‘high level of scrutiny’ about how it has handled CSE and it ‘understands and accepts this needs to take place.’