Rotherham MP calls for new police force solely investigating child abuse

Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham
Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham
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A Rotherham MP has called for a new ‘task force’ to be set up to deal solely with child abuse and help take the burden off the police.

Sarah Champion said local police forces do not have enough capacity to cope with investigations, and that a national task force is ‘the only way forward’ to tackle child abuse properly.

She said: “We need a national child abuse task force to support local police when a large scale case of child abuse is first identified.

“Local police forces simply can’t cope with the scale of reports they are receiving and in many cases are not specialists in this field.

“It would mean when the police are approached with a complex case the task force can immediately be deployed to shape the investigation, bringing in specialists and hitting the ground running.

“I believe this will provide the best support for victims and survivors and give them confidence to come forward and get justice.

The town’s MP also slammed the Government’s current child abuse enquiry as a ‘farce’ after a series of delays and leadership changes.

She said: “I can’t believe that the Child Abuse Inquiry was announced in July yet we are still in the same position we were six months ago.

“The victims and survivors deserve urgent action and justice, yet we are still to see anything happen other than Chairs for the Inquiry come and go.

“The Government need to act and get this inquiry underway as soon as possible.”

Home Secretary Theresa May backed Ms Champion’s comments.

She said: “I commend Sarah Champion once again for the work she has done, particularly on the child sexual exploitation that has taken place in Rotherham, but also the way in which she is using that experience to inform others to try to ensure both that we put in place the necessary support mechanism and that the terrible things that happened in Rotherham do not happen elsewhere.”