Rotherham: Five arrests in child sex abuse investigation

From the Sheffield Star

The Rotherham Fortify Team, alongside the force’s Tasking Support Group, conducted six warrants at addresses in Sheffield, Scunthorpe, Rotherham and West Yorkshire on May 18 and 19. Speaking  (yesterday Monday, May 30), a South Yorkshire Police spokesperson said this follows allegations dating back to the 1990s, when the victim was under the age of 16.

Four men aged 63, 40, 50 and 54, and a woman aged 47, were arrested on suspicion of sexual offences following the raids.

They have been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

The arrested men could be British, or other European but demography and history suggests another Islamic gang.  Obviously no names until (and unless) they have  been charged and referred to the Magistrates court. 

Local MP Sarah Champion has tweeted “These arrests show that no matter when you abused, justice will come knocking.”

Which is good. But I don’t want to be sitting here in 25 years time ( in my 90s? unlikely) reading about arrests for the historic abuse that took place in the early 20s of the 21st century. Because I believe that the Conservative Councillors of Rotherham (and the citizens of Barrow in Furness the other side of the country, and others) are correct that this type of abuse continues. 

The authorities however, beg to differ

From the BBC last week. 

Conservative councillors claimed that grooming gangs still operating in the town were being ignored by police and the wider local authority.

In response, officials from the ruling Labour group and South Yorkshire Police commissioned an independent review. It found the specific allegations were “not founded”.

The claims, made last November, included suggestions that teenage girls were being sold for sex from a takeaway shop and phones were being given to young girls by Asian men.

A working group of Conservative councillors said it had found “multiple examples of active grooming and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in multiple locations across Rotherham”.

Rotherham’s Safeguarding Children Partnership, which published its review last week, found the police and council’s actions and responses to the group’s new concerns were “effective and robust”. It said: “The review team has found no evidence that CSE may be occurring on the same scale as the past”, and the team “found no new evidence that police in Rotherham currently deny that CSE is a continuing problem”.

The trial of the men arrested and charged with abuse in Barrow and Yorkshire is set for this autumn.