South Yorkshire Police chief grilled over sex grooming

Crime:Latest news.
Crime:Latest news.
Have your say

South Yorkshire’s chief constable and one of his detectives have been told by MPs to ‘get a grip’ on child sex offending in Rotherham.

Chief constable David Crompton and Det Ch Insp Philip Etheridge were grilled by the Home Affairs Select Committee in the House of Commons after concerns about co-ordinated abuse of white girls by some Asian men in Rotherham.

MPs heard three unconvicted members of one family had been linked to the abuse of 61 girls.

The committee members also heard evidence of a 22-year-old man going unpunished after being found in a car with a 12-year-old girl, a bottle of vodka and indecent images of her on his mobile phone.

Committee chairman Keith Vaz asked Mr Etheridge how many successful prosecutions there had been this year for child sexual exploitation.

He replied none this year, one in 2010 and eight in 2008.

Mr Vaz said: “I am very disappointed and I am very surprised nobody has been prosecuted this year... you need to get a grip on the situation in South Yorkshire.

“I want you to write to us in a month’s time setting out what has been done.The committee is very concerned and the public are very concerned.”

Mr Vaz said the force needed to approach the issue with the same rigour it was bringing to its dealings with the Hillsborough investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

A force spokeswoman told The Star that in the last ten years it had carried out 27 child sexual exploitation investgations involving 90 girls - not all victims - and leading to 65 arrests.

A total of 20 men had been charged, 15 convicted and 14 others were on bail.

She added: “A senior detective has led a team of experienced investigators to review every one of these 27 investigations in detail.

“The review has shown that all were thorough and SYP took every opportunity to prosecute.

“We are revisiting some issues with partners and if further opportunities or evidence come to light then we will pursue them vigorously.”