More than 160 police officers are under investigation in the Rotherham abuse scandal over allegations they systematically ignored complaints of widespread child sexual exploitation. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has already identified 60 officers as part of a major investigation into the scandal and 100 others are in their sights.
The watchdog is examining whether or not disciplinary or even legal action should be brought against police officers who are accused of ignoring victims’ claims that they were being sexually trafficked and abused.
The IPCC has received 47 referrals from South Yorkshire Police since the publication of the Jay report 12 months ago which exposed the scale of child rape, trafficking and grooming in the South Yorkshire town. Professor Alexis Jay’s report described how more than 1,400 children were sexually exploited by gangs of mainly Asian males in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.
Investigators have now served misconduct notices on 27 officers to advise their specific actions are under investigation. In total 41 misconduct notices have been served, as some officers have received multiple notices as they are involved in more than one complaint. Of those served with notices so far, seven are retired. A spokeswoman confirmed this is an ongoing process as investigative and analytical work continues.
She said:“Analysis of all the referrals has so far identified more than 60 officers.“Further assessments are being carried out to establish the specific allegations against these individuals to determine what further actions are needed. Work is ongoing to identify more than 100 officers who are referenced in the referrals but are unnamed.”