The death of a serving police officer at the centre of an undercover probe into the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal has left ‘unanswered questions’, a lawyer for the victims said today.
PC Hassan Ali had been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission after it was alleged he twice asked a Rotherham sexual exploitation victim out on a date.
After a lengthy investigation over a number of months, The Star discovered four complaints were made against PC Ali to South Yorkshire Police by two members of the public.
The Star agreed to hold off on exposing his alleged involvement in the scandal after police advised us they were mounting an operation to monitor the officer.
But yesterday it emerged PC Ali had died after being involved in a road crash while off duty in Sheffield last week.
The PC, aged 44, was left fighting for life after being struck by a car on Staniforth Road, Darnall.
He was crossing the street at around 10.15pm last Wednesday when he was involved in the collision.
He died in hospital yesterday morning, with relatives at his bedside.
Today David Greenwood, from Switalskis Solicitors, which is representing 38 child sexual exploitation victims in Rotherham, said: “PC Ali’s death leaves unanswered questions for at least two of the girls who I am representing.
“Our investigation into the behaviour of a small number of South Yorkshire police officers will continue. The allegations centre around inappropriate behaviour.”
South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton, said: “All of our thoughts are with Hassan’s family and on behalf of the force I would like to offer my sincere condolences at this incredibly difficult time.
“PC Ali was a well-liked officer whose colleagues are devastated by what has happened.”
PC Ali was a neighbourhood policing officer based in Rotherham and had served with the force for 18 years.
He had been placed on ‘restricted duties’, while the IPCC assessed whether to launch a full investigation following the accusations lodged against him.
One of the complainants, who is now an adult, said PC Ali asked her out on a date when she was 17 and then again four years later.
The woman said the officer had been involved with her case and was aware she was a victim of sustained abuse between the ages of 14 and 17.
At the time he first asked her on a date, she had a one-year-old son, who had been born after she was made pregnant by her abuser when she was 15.
The woman said the officer’s behaviour had been ‘inappropriate and totally unprofessional’.
She said she told the police of his approaches in August 2013 when she gave a statement about the abuse she had suffered - but claimed nothing was done to investigate her claims.
She said she saw the officer in his police uniform and on duty a few months ago.
The woman said she declined the officer’s offer of a date on both occasions.
“It was inappropriate. He was a police officer who knew that I was being abused. It is totally unprofessional,” she added.
The nature of the other complaints made against PC Ali are not known.
South Yorkshire Police last month confirmed an officer had been referred to the IPCC.
A spokesman said: “South Yorkshire Police has received four public complaints relating to alleged misconduct of one of our officers.
“The complaints were made by two separate people about the officer, a PC based in the Rotherham area.
“The force has referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.”