South Yorkshire police chiefs have vowed to meet the author of a scathing report on Rotherham Council’s failure to tackle child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
Louise Casey, tasked by the Government with examining how and why Rotherham Council failed to tackle the issue, has now suggested that South Yorkshire Police should face the same level of scrutiny.
Her inspection of the council painted a picture of a local authority in denial about how more than 1,400 children had been subjected to rape, violence and trafficking by gangs of mainly Asian men.
Ms Casey told a committee of MPs she ‘left no stone unturned’ in her inspection and believes South Yorkshire Police’s failure to deal with child sexual exploitation should be subjected to the same level of scrutiny.
“The police, South Yorkshire Police more generally, need to look at their failure to the victims of Rotherham, full stop,” she said.
“The police have to step up and accept the same level of responsibility to those victims and those perpetrators as the local authority.
“We were asked to inspect Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and we left no stone unturned. It’s a pretty thorough and damning report. The same level of scrutiny has not happened to the police in Rotherham over that time.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “South Yorkshire Police officers engaged with Louise Casey and her review team throughout her inquiry and we have made a firm commitment to meet with her in the very near future to discuss her findings in further detail.
“South Yorkshire Police has referred a number of complaints to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
“We remain committed to assisting them with their independent investigation into any alleged misconduct.
“The National Crime Agency is carrying out an independent investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham over the period covered by the Jay report at the request of Chief Constable David Crompton.
“The first stage of the investigation, called Operation Stovewood, is now underway.”