Twenty new complaints about South Yorkshire Police officers over Rotherham scandal

Professor Alexis Jay with her report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
Professor Alexis Jay with her report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
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Twenty new complaints have been made about South Yorkshire Police in relation to the Rotherham abuse scandal.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission – which oversees police complaints – is assessing the fresh reports.

It comes after the IPCC’s announcement in November that 10 officers were being investigated in relation to matters identified in Professor Alexis Jay’s inquiry.

Prof Jay’s report, published in August, revealed at least 1,400 children in the town had been victims of sexual exploitation between 1997 and 2013, with men of largely Pakistani heritage known to be responsible,but authorities failing to act because of fears over race relations.

She also found some police officers had treated victims with ‘contempt’.

The IPCC said it is assessing the new complaints to see if there is any ‘correlation’ with existing inquiries.

An IPCC spokesman said: “The IPCC’s independent investigation into the conduct of 10 South Yorkshire Police officers in relation to their handling of reported child sexual exploitation in Rotherham is ongoing.

“This is a large and complex investigation. Since we announced it, we have received 20 individual complaints.

“Work is ongoing to assess these to determine whether they are new allegations or matters already under investigation.

“We have also been liaising with the National Crime Agency in relation to its investigation examining criminal allegations of non-familial child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, to ensure nothing is done to prejudice any future potential criminal prosecutions and both investigations deal with the victims as sensitively as possible.”

The IPCC has refused to comment on the details of the new complaints.

But South Yorkshire Police have separately confirmed to The Star it has referred one PC in the Rotherham area to the IPCC over alleged misconduct after four complaints were made by two people about the officer.

The officer has not been suspended, but has been placed on ‘restricted duties’.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police 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.

“The PC continues to work for the force on restricted duties.”

Of the ten officers already under full investigation, one being investigated is alleged to have argued a child abused by five Asian men should not be classed as a victim of sexual abuse, because she had been ‘100 per cent consensual’.

One allegation against a single officer said evidence relating to a victim being raped on four occasions in 2003 had been lost, while another claims three officers were involved in a failure to investigate after a 14-year-old girl’s rape.

Two officers face claims they failed to adequately investigate an incident in which a 12-year-old girl was found drunk in a car with a man who had indecent photographs of her on his mobile phone.

Two others are alleged to have failed to adequately investigate naked images of a young girl and possible evidence of group offending.

And one officer is alleged not to have acted on evidence about suspected offenders in response to three reports which revealed details about grooming in the town.

A further allegation says a man who threatened a family and encouraged a victim into prostitution was not investigated properly, with police involved not yet identified.