Rotherham abuse report ‘too general’ to punish staff - chief executive

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Allegations against council staff made in the Jay report were ‘not specific enough’ to refer any employee to a body for investigation, Rotherham Council’s chief executive has said.

Martin Kimber said the authority is holding ‘preliminary discussions’ with one current employee, which ‘may or may not lead to further action’, over the child sexual exploitation scandal.

But the council cannot take action against employees who have now moved on to other roles, he said, and allegations in the report by Prof Alexis Jay are ‘not specific enough’ to investigate anyone else, he said.

Mr Kimber said: “Preliminary discussions are taking place with one current employee which may or may not lead to further action.

“The council cannot investigate the actions of former employees in the same way it could with current employees.”

He added the Jay report’s conclusions were ‘drawn in such a way as to allow the source to remain anonymous’ and were ‘not specific enough to refer any employee, past or present, to any bodies’.

Coun Lakin told The Star more investigations are ongoing following the suspension of four Labour councillors.

But Mr Kimber stressed the council wanted to reassure victims. He added: “We must collectively marshal all our efforts to ensure our young people are as safe as they can be.

“We expect the criminal justice system to punish perpetrators and bring justice for young people and their families.

“We can only be effective working together. It requires a collective effort.”