Rotherham police failed more than 1,400 girls – yet none lost their jobs

Only five others received sanctions ranging from management action up to a final written warning.

Outlining the findings, Michael Lockwood, the IOPC director-general, said: “We found that officers were not fully aware, or able to deal with, child sexual abuse and exploitation offences and showed insufficient empathy towards survivors who were vulnerable children and young people .

“We saw examples of SYP seeing children and young people as ‘consenting’ to their exploitation, and a police culture that did not always recognize survivors as victims, or understand that, often, neither did those being groomed or abused.”

Alan Billings, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, expressed frustration that no individual officers had been held to account.

He said: “I am disappointed that after eight years of very costly investigations, this report fails to make any significant recommendations over and above what South Yorkshire Police have already accepted and implemented from previous investigations some years ago.

“It repeats what past reports and reviews have shown – that there was unacceptable practice between 1997 and 2013 – but fails to identify any individual accountability. As a result, it lets down victims and survivors.

“A great deal of time and money has been spent for few new findings or accountability.”

‘They deserved better from us’

The IOPC admitted survivors might be “disappointed” that the inquiry, which cost the taxpayer. 6 million, had resulted in no sackings or criminal prosecutions of officers.

Steve Noonan from the IOPC said: “I understand why survivors in particular may feel that the system has not delivered on individual accountability, however it became clear very early on that this investigation was about identifying systematic issues to make sure a situation like this never arises again.

“The survivors wanted us to make recommendations that would bring real and long lasting change.”

Tim Forber, South Yorkshire’s deputy chief constable, said: “We fully accept the findings of the IOPC report which closely reflects those highlighted by Professor Alexis Jay in 2014.

“We let victims of CSE (child sexual exploitation) down. We failed to recognize their vulnerability and failed to see them as victims, for that I am deeply sorry. They deserved better from us.

“The brave accounts of these girls caused a seismic change in policing crimes of this nature for South Yorkshire Police and the wider police service.”

Mr Forber added: “While I am confident we are a very different force today, I will not lose sight of the fact that we got it wrong and we let victims down.”

David Greenwood, a solicitor representing 80 Rotherham survivors, said: “It shows the British public the level of disregard shown by South Yorkshire Police to female victims of sexual exploitation, it explains that even by the pathetically low standards of police service, it was “OK ‘to not investigate these crimes properly or at all and it will demonstrate how the system of police complaints has provided zero accountability and needs reform.”


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