South Yorkshire police commissioner to face ‘grooming’ committee

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SOUTH Yorkshire’s newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright may have to face a House of Commons committee looking into the Rotherham sex grooming scandal.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said during a hearing yesterday that Coun Wright, who was Rotherham Council’s Cabinet member for children between 2005 and 2010, could be asked to give evidence to the committee, along with other council representatives.

Newspaper journalist Andrew Norfolk, who wrote about sexual exploitation in the town told the committee he was ‘flabbergasted’ that the issue of attitudes to the age of consent had not been considered over the question of young girls being groomed for sex by Asian men.

“If you come from rural Mirpuri, Kashmiri community, where whatever state law says, village tradition and Sharia law says puberty is the green light for marriage, then perhaps you begin to understand why it’s not just lone offenders,” he added.

Mr Norfolk alleged the authorities in Rotherham knew grooming of young girls was going on but did not do enough to crackdown on the problem.

South Yorkshire Police has said claims it has been reluctant to tackle child sexual abuse in the town are wrong and unfair.