Rotherham abuse victims to submit new complaints about South Yorkshire Police ‘failures’

Rotherham town centre
Rotherham town centre
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More than 20 Rotherham child exploitation victims are to submit new complaints about police failures to properly investigate their abusers.

The women, part of a group of 32 people suing Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police over the failures to protect them from abuse, are due to submit complaints in the next few weeks.

The complaints will be passed on the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is already in the process of investigating 10 officers in relation to the handling of sexual exploitation cases in Rotherham.

David Greenwood, from Switalskis Solicitors, said 22 of the women have instructed him to submit complaints for them.

He said the complaints include allegations that officers dissuaded one girl from making a complaint by telling her abusers would harm her if she pursued the case.

Mr Greenwood said three officers have been named in the complaints, with a number of other unnamed officers also included.

He said there was likely to be some overlap in the complaints with the ongoing IPCC investigations.

Mr Greenwood said: “Twenty-two girls have asked me to submit formal complaints.

“They range from complaints such as girls being found in the back of cars in suspicious circumstances and no action being taken right up to girls making complaints of rape and being dissuaded from pursuing the case with comments such as ‘You know these guys will track you down and will harm you if you continue to pursue this’.”

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “Police are aware of intended complaints, however we are awaiting further information from the victims’ legal representatives.

“Once this is received, the incidents will be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.”