Rotherham sex abuse scandal compensation claims have cost nearly £4 million in legal fees alone
The Rotherham child sex abuse scandal has already cost the nearly £4 million in legal fees alone to deal with all the compensation claims lodged.
A Freedom of Information request has revealed that so far, around £3.6 million has been paid out to lawyers who have been dealing with compensation claims over the cases.
And that is with only just over half the cases settled.
So far, the force has received a total of 103 claims for compensation from victims who were abused. A total of 55 have already been settled.
The legal costs to South Yorkshire Police, that is the amount paid to their lawyers, Keoghs, for work on the cases, has so far reached £2.3 million.
And the claimants' solicitors have been paid approximately £1.3 million, with three firms representing those who have put in claims.
The force has refused to reveal the total amount paid in compensation.
In its response the force said: “Each of the claims for compensation is reviewed on an individual basis.”
The National Crime Agency investigation into the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal is set to continue for ‘several years to come’, it was revealed earlier this year.
The top level investigation was launched in response to an independent report by Professor Alexa Jay, who was asked to look at the issue of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and discovered that 1,400 children had been abused by men of predominantly Pakistani heritage over a 16-year period while those in authority failed to act.
South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Council were criticised for their failings.
The NCA launched Operation Stovewood in 2014 to investigate historic cases and so far 180 arrests have been made, with a warning of more to come.
Professor Alexis Jay’s independent inquiry detailed that at least 1,400 children had been subjected to serious sexual abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.
NCA senior investigating officer Philip Marshall said in February it was important to recognise that this type of exploitation is not limited to Rotherham or South Yorkshire, but happened and continued to happen in communities up and down the UK.