Sheffield South Yorkshire Police detective ‘failed to investigate child sex abuse claims’

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A Sheffield detective at South Yorkshire Police could face the sack after being accused of failing to investigate claims two girls had been sexually assaulted by their step-father nearly a decade ago.

Detective Constable Vivienne Rose-Bottom will appear before a misconduct hearing over the claim that in 2007 she did not conduct an investigation into the allegations and failed to protect the girls and their young brother.

The breach of the Standards were such a serious breach that they amount to gross misconduct.

The alleged failings came during the period when police in South Yorkshire turned a blind eye to child sexual exploitation across the county as senior officers were focused on hitting national targets for burglary, robbery and car crime.

The detective was based at South Yorkshire Police’s Child Abuse Investigation Team in Sheffield at the time and spoke to the two alleged victims after the unit received a report from social services on February 21, 2007.

According to the force’s website: “A report was received from Social Services that ‘Miss A’ and ‘Miss B’ had been sexually assaulted by their stepfather and DC Rose–Bottom was allocated the investigation.

“DC Rose–Bottom spoke to ‘Miss A’ on 22nd February 2007 and subsequently interviewed ‘Miss B’ on 6th June 2007.

“It is then alleged that DC Rose-Bottom failed to conduct any investigation into the allegations made by ‘Miss A’ and ‘Miss B’ and allegedly failed to take any or any adequate steps to safeguard ‘Miss A’, ‘Miss B’ and their younger brother.”

The alleged failures identified include not speaking to ‘Miss A’ on her own away from family members, and not making any enquiries with doctors or social services.

The detective is also accused of not making any enquiries after speaking to ‘Miss B’ , as well as failing to submit any intelligence about the stepfather or make a referral to Social Services in June 2007.

The misconduct hearing in Sheffield will hear claims that Detective Constable Rose-Bottom did not make adequate records on the force’s tracking system, or anywhere else, about her interactions with Miss B and her failure to record a crime in relation to the two girls.

The South Yorkshire Police website said: There is a case for DC Rose-Bottom to answer the alleged failures, which amount to a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour relating to ‘Duties and Responsibilities’.

“The breach of the Standards were such a serious breach that they amount to gross misconduct.”

Last year, an independent review of South Yorkshire Police’s handling of grooming cases found there was a ‘lack of interest or professional curiosity’ from most senior officers in making child sexual exploitation cases a priority during the 2000s.

This meant that in Sheffield, officers trying to deal with grooming were 'seriously under-resourced' and when they asked their bosses for help, their requests 'appear to have fallen on deaf ears'.

This was put down to a focus on hitting national targets at the time for burglary, robbery and car crime.

In 2014, a report by Professor Alexis Jay laid bare the full scale of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, where at least 1,400 children were abused between 1997 and 2013.