Race fears stopped police in Rotherham acting on child sex abuse says leaked report

A police watchdog report has found South Yorkshire Police did not do enough to protect a survivor of sexual abuse in Rotherham, it has been reported.

Sunday, 19th January 2020, 10:23 am

The Independent Office for Police conduct (IOPC) report initially leaked to the Times newspaper said officers failed to deal with offenders adequately.

The report concluded the force ignored sexual abuse by predominantly men of Pakistani heritage for decades and could do nothing because of racial tensions.

In a statement, the force said: "South Yorkshire Police accepts the findings of this report and have been working to address the issues it raises since the publication of the Jay Report in 2014.

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Child abuse.

"After such a lengthy IOPC investigation it is disappointing that no individual officer has been identified as this is not something we would tolerate in today's force."

A survivor of sexual abuse in Rotherham who was repeatedly abused as a girl has told the BBC she feels vindicated by the investigation.

The woman, who was abused over several years from about 2003, said: "For 18 years I have being trying to prove that I'm not a liar, that I didn't make it up,"

The report, upheld the victim's complaints that "police took insufficient action to protect you from harm" and that "police failed to adequately deal with offenders and this failure led you to be exposed to abuse".

A damning report by Professor Alexis Jay in 20014 revealed the extent of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham where at least 1,400 children were groomed, sexually abused and trafficked by men of largely Pakistani heritage over 16 years while those in authority failed to act.

South Yorkshire Police Commissioner Dr Alan Billings said the force had learned its lessons . He said: “The proof of the pudding is the shear number of people who have come forward so we have been able to progress trials now. There were some big trials six years ago by South Yorkshire Police themselves such as Operation Clover with successful convictions . That was an important signal to the victims throughout the county that they would be taken seriously and listened to and there would be prosecutions.”