Rotherham child sexual abuse investigation extends to former senior command team
Our operation looking into South Yorkshire Police’s (SYP) response to non-recent allegations of child sexual abuse (CSA) in Rotherham, will investigate the actions of the force’s former senior command team.
The decision to investigate, as part of Operation Linden, follows a complaint referred to us by SYP. The main allegation within the complaint is that senior officers failed in their statutory duty to protect children between 1997 and 2013.
Our investigation will include gathering evidence about the actions carried out by the senior command team, after reports were allegedly shared with them that highlighted CSA was being carried out in Rotherham during the period covered by Operation Linden.
IOPC Acting Deputy Director for Major Investigations Steve Noonan said:
“We have taken our time to carefully consider the complaint referral from South Yorkshire Police, and have made this announcement at the earliest opportunity. It’s important to say that we’re in the early stages of this particular strand of the investigation and the next steps will be to draft the terms of reference, which will be vital to bring focus to this complicated case. I’d like to make it clear that no individual officer is under investigation at this stage.
“The force’s strategy to tackle CSA during the period we are investigating has already been highlighted through Operation Linden. This is an area we feel needs to be fully investigated to give the survivors, and people living in Rotherham, confidence that we have carried out a thorough investigation.”
We recently carried out a full review of Operation Linden and we currently have 106 individual case references. However we have linked some of these investigations together and also discontinued a small number where we have been unable to follow any significant lines of enquiry. We now estimate that Operation Linden will result in around 84 individual investigation reports, but as ever that number can change as the operation develops.
Thirty-three officers remain under notice that they are under investigation, but this number can also fluctuate as our investigations continue.
“As we have stated all along our intention is to produce an over-arching report for Operation Linden that pulls together all of our key findings, outcomes and learning from our investigations all in one place. Our ultimate aim is to ensure that all those affected can be confident that their complaints have been comprehensively investigated, and for South Yorkshire Police and indeed all forces across the country to learn from our findings.”