South Yorkshire Police chief refutes claims that police are not taking enough action to tackle Child Sexual Exploitation
South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has refuted claims that the forces’ response to reports of Child Sexual Exploitation has “been lacking”, following a damning report alleging instances of CSE in Rotherham.
The Rotherham Conservative Group has tabled a motion to the full council meeting next week, claiming they have uncovered instances of CSE in the borough which has been passed on to police, but say the response to the intelligence has been “poor”.
The motion, tabled by Councillor Emily Barley, leader of the Rotherham Conservatives, states: “The response to this intelligence has been poor, with slow or no action taken, obstructive and confrontational attitudes from the authorities, and a continual refusal to acknowledge that due to reactive, not proactive, council and police approaches to CSE, the true scale of the problem in Rotherham cannot be known at present”.
The group say that although they are “unable to verify all of these claims”, they are confident that they come from “reliable sources who work on the front line”.
However, Dr Alan Billings, the region’s PCC, says intelligence passed to the police was “followed up”, but “most of it was so vague that little could be done with it”.
“The report that some Conservative members of Rotherham Borough Council have produced to support a resolution they are putting to the November council meeting is an extraordinary mix of vagueness and lack of knowledge about what the police and local authority are doing,” said Dr Billings.
“There are also untruths.
“The authors say they have supplied information to the police that has not been acted on.
“This is not true.
“Every piece of information they supplied has been followed up, but most of it was so vague that little could be done with it.
“Most of the information provided was vague or speculative – yet valuable police time was spent testing it out.
“They say that the council and police believe CSE is only in the past.
“This is untrue.
“The non-recent cases of CSE – those identified by Professor Jay – are dealt with by the National Crime Agency (NCA), who have 200 detectives working on them.
“Recent CSE cases are dealt with by South Yorkshire police who currently have 35 active cases with 29 suspects arrested.
“I am surprised that the councillors seem to know so little about the work that is being done by either the NCA or the police.
“I receive regular updates on CSE and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) from the Rotherham district commander every quarter at my Public Accountability Board, where I hold the force to account.
“This is held in public and the reports are on the PCC website.
“There is detailed information on a regular basis, openness and transparency, and the councillors are welcome to speak to me about any of the issues that concern them at any time.”