South Yorkshire Police detective admits gross misconduct over handling of child rape and gets final written warning
A South Yorkshire Police detective has admitted his actions in handling a child rape allegation, sex attack and an assault amounted to gross misconduct
DC Ian Hampshire has been issued with a final written warning by the force after a misconduct hearing today.
He was accused of failing to conduct ‘adequate investigations’ into allegations of abuse in 2007 and failing to record the matters in line with appropriate legislation.
He admitted failing to properly investigate allegations made by a teenage girl that she had been raped by multiple men in Rotherham in 2007, at the start of a two-day police misconduct hearing in Sheffield.
The allegations against him arose from the investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, which came to light in 2014.
An independent report by Professor Alexa Jay that year estimated 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.
On Tuesday, a disciplinary panel decided DC Hampshire should be issued with a final written warning rather than being dismissed after hearing that his conduct in relation to the girl was part of much wider failure by South Yorkshire Police to deal with child sexual exploitation in Rotherham at the time.
Panel chairman Simon Mallett said: "It would be wrong for this panel, and it would be wrong for this officer, to make him personally accountable for the systemic failings of the force."
Dc Hampshire, who has 23 years' service with the force, is understood to be the first officer to face a disciplinary hearing following the CSE scandal in Rotherham.
Following the hearing, Assistant Chief Constable Lauren Poultney said: “DC Hampshire’s actions in 2007 fell significantly short of what the public should be able to expect from a police officer. Since the findings of the Jay Report, which led to this investigation, the force has taken huge strides in understanding and investigating CSE to ensure victims of a sexual offences can have confidence that when they feel able to raise the alarm, South Yorkshire Police officers are ready to respond.
“In recent years, we have delivered extensive training to all of our officers, partner agencies and businesses where there may be opportunities to spot CSE and intervene. We have restructured our teams to reflect demand and to ensure specialist officers are well placed to address any emerging issues. We have also worked with partner agencies to ensure appropriate reporting mechanisms are in place and anyone reporting a sexual offence is supported with compassion and professionalism.“DC Hampshire accepted his actions cumulatively amounted to gross misconduct. A misconduct hearing, with an independent legally qualified chair, has determined a final written warning is the appropriate outcome in this case.”
In her report, Professor Jay found that the sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham was known about as far back as the early nineties and a number of reports over the next decade ‘were ignored’ by South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Council and ‘no action was taken to deal with the issues that were identified in them’.