Police arrest Rotherham abuse victim - after she confronts alleged abuser in the street

Rotherham Town Centre
Rotherham Town Centre
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Police have arrested a victim of Rotherham’s child sex abuse scandal - after she confronted her alleged abuser in the street.

The 28-year-old woman was arrested in Rotherham on suspicion of racially-aggravated public order offences, after she saw her alleged abuser walking through the town centre and confronted him.

The woman was arrested by an officer from North Yorkshire Police after a complaint was made about her behaviour by a member of the public.

Media reports said eyewitnesses claimed two officers had put the woman against a wall and ‘shoved her into the back of a van’ as she was arrested.

Specialist officers from South Yorkshire Police had previously been trying to speak to her in relation to the historic abuse allegations she had made to another organisation.

Police realised the identity of the woman while she was in custody and attempted to speak to her about her prior allegation.

But the woman decided not to speak to them and is yet to make an official complaint about being a victim of abuse.

She was released on bail.

The incident, on Friday, is latest controversy for police as the fall-out continues from the publication of the Jay Report, which revealed at least 1,400 children in Rotherham had been victims of sexual exploitation between 1997 and 2013.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “Specialist officers from South Yorkshire Police had been making efforts to trace a 28-year-old woman who had made allegations to a partner agency. The allegations related to child sexual exploitation. Efforts to trace the woman were unsuccessful.

“Later that day, officers from a neighbouring force who were providing support to South Yorkshire Police were approached by a passer-by in All Saints Square who made complaints about the behaviour of a woman who they believed had been drinking.

“The woman was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences. She was taken to Main Street police station where she was detained and later released on police bail.

“While she was in custody officers realised the identity of the woman, and made sensitive enquiries with her regarding her previous allegation.

“The woman chose not to speak with the officers at this current time but plans are in place to find an appropriate way to work with the woman and offer her the support she needs to come forward.”

A police source said the officer who made the arrest had taken ‘appropriate action’ based on ‘the information available to him at the time’.

Police say they have received no complaints about the woman’s arrest.

n Witnesses can contact police on 101.