IPCC begins concluding some Rotherham CSA investigations
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is beginning to conclude some of its investigations into South Yorkshire Police’s handling of non-recent allegations of child sexual abuse (CSA) in Rotherham.
The IPCC investigation into Rotherham CSA is, after Hillsborough, the second largest operation the IPCC has ever undertaken. The operation covers allegations ranging from failure to act, through to corruption.
Nine investigations have been completed so far. In each of the concluded cases, the investigator gave the opinion was that there was no case to answer in relation to officer conduct. However, in a number of cases, learning recommendations were made to the force concerning the recording of information and the retention of archived materials.
A further 53 investigations are ongoing. Some of those investigations are reaching final report stage, which means they are likely to be concluded in the coming months.
The Rotherham CSA operation is currently investigating 211 individual allegations made by 40 complainants. Out of 91 police officers who have been identified, 30 officers have been placed under notice to inform them they are subject to investigation. There are still 120 allegations relating to officers who have yet to be identified.
The team investigating Rotherham is part of the Directorate of Major Investigations, which also has Hillsborough and other CSA work as part of its remit. The Rotherham CSA team is made up of 25 staff, including 14 investigators, as well as additional support from across the IPCC.
The evidence being compiled and reviewed by the team dates back as far as the early 1990s. The team is reviewing 6,135 documents; has logged 357 exhibits; conducted 40 individual interviews and obtained 238 statements.
The survivors and police officers concerned are updated monthly on the progress of any investigation that relates to them. It is the IPCC’s intention to publish an overarching report covering the conclusions from the investigations and any recommended learning, once they are all complete.
Deputy Chair of the IPCC Rachel Cerfontyne said:
“It is entirely understandable that all those affected, as well as the wider public, want answers quickly and this is something we can all appreciate. However, our priority has to be to ensure all of the investigations are carried out rigorously and thoroughly.
“I want to take this opportunity to offer reassurance that the IPCC has a specialist, dedicated team that is working extremely hard to conclude these complex investigations. This mirrors the approach we have taken with the Hillsborough investigation.
“Some of the emerging themes reflect the concerns raised in the Jay Report. These include findings relating to leadership, crime reporting and intelligence, as well as attitudes towards survivors and suspected offenders, and the ineffectiveness of police engagement with other agencies.
“The IPCC has an important part to play in highlighting how those in the public sector, across the country, dealt with complaints and allegations of child sexual abuse. When the investigations are concluded, we want to share our learning with all police forces to help them improve the way they deal with allegations of child sexual exploitation and abuse.”