Rotherham councillors urge South Yorkshire Police bosses to be 'more transparent' over child sexual exploitation details
Councillors in Rotherham unanimously voted to write to South Yorkshire police bosses, asking them to be ‘more transparent’ when providing information related to child sexual exploitation (CSE).
A notice of motion was presented to yesterday’s full council meeting (January 10) by the Rotherham Conservative Group, calling for group leaders to write to South Yorkshire Police’s Chief Constable and the region’s police and crime commissioner, highlighting that ‘there are still areas of concern’ in the way South Yorkshire Police handles CSE investigations.
Group leaders will also urge SYP to be ‘more transparent with members of public and the press’ with information relating to CSE.
The motion was unanimously accepted by all parties.
The motion references an investigation published in The Times, which alleged that South Yorkshire Police are still not recording the ethnicities of suspected child abusers.
South Yorkshire Police were ordered to disclose a redacted document named ‘Child Exploitation Strategic Profile’, which found that SYP failed to record the ethnicity of suspects in 67 per cent of Child Sexual Exploitation non-cyber enabled cases in Rotherham in 2019.
Councillor Emily Barley, leader of the Rotherham Conservative group told the meeting: “What these documents tell us is that despite what the police and crime commissioner and others claim, CSE is not a top priority for South Yorkshire Police.”
Councillor Tim Baum Dixon, Conservative representative for Anston and Woodsetts seconded the motion.
Coun Baum Dixon told the meeting: “I am ashamed that I rise to support this motion.
“I am ashamed that yet again, we’re having to hear about the shortcomings and failings of South Yorkshire Police, and how the victims of these most heinous crimes are still being let down.”
Labour leader of the council, Councillor Chris Read, told the meeting that he had written to the chief constable twice ‘over the last few weeks’, and that the government had withdrawn financial support to help with the costs of Operation Stovewood.
An amendment added by the Labour group also calls on the government to contribute £500,000 per year towards the council’s costs of Operation Stovewood.