The watchdog has expanded its investigation into South Yorkshire police officers over their handling of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
The investigation into how police handled child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham has been expanded, it emerged last night, after the police watchdog said it had received complaints involving more than 100 allegations against 42 named officers.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) announced that since their inquiry began four months ago, it has received 30 complaints relating to South Yorkshire Police’s handling of reports about CSE.
The IPCC initially began investigating the 10 police officers involved in the incidents highlighted by the Jay Report, which described how at least 1,400 children were raped, trafficked and groomed in the South Yorkshire town between 1997 and 2013.
The watchdog said yesterday it has now identified a total of 42 police officers, both retired and serving, from the complaints it has received over the past few months.
It said that there are also a number of allegations against officers whose identities are currently unknown.
The IPCC said in a statement: “Work to establish the identity of the unknown officers and to identify any links between the different complaints and incidents is ongoing.
“The allegations range from neglect of duty by failing to adequately investigate on the basis of intelligence or to deal with incidents appropriately, inappropriate comments and suggestions of corrupt relationships between police officers and offenders.”
The IPCC is also investigating an allegation that South Yorkshire Police failed to act on information passed to them in 2004 and 2006 about alleged child sexual exploitation in Sheffield.
This complaint relates to two named police officers who are now retired from the police service.
A number of potential police misconduct allegations were identified in the Jay Report, which was published in August last year.
The report set out how hundreds of teenagers, mainly girls, were being exploited by gangs of mainly Asian men with impunity.
Professor Alexis Jay, who wrote the report, said police and senior council officers had failed to tackle problem or take it seriously.
The Jay Report was followed by another damning report by Louise Casey, which was scathing in its criticism of Rotherham Council.
Last month, the council’s entire leadership resigned following the publication of Casey’s damning report, which had been ordered by Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles.
It concluded that the local authority was “not fit for purpose” after finding it has a culture of “bullying, sexism, suppression and misplaced ‘political correctness”‘.
After more revelations about the scale of CSE in neighbouring Sheffield, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Billings, last month called for a wide-ranging inspection of his force, along the lines of Ms Casey’s review of the council’s actions.
South Yorkshire Police said PC Hassan Ali, 44, died after he was involved in a collision in Sheffield last month when was off-duty.
It is understood that two complaints had been made about PC Ali, connected to the probe into sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham and he had been placed on restricted duties while the matter was being considered by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
PC Ali, who had been with the South Yorkshire force for 18-years, had been on foot when he was hit by a car at around 10.15pm on Wednesday 28 January.
source : The Express