Saturday, July 20, 2019

Rotherham scandal: Failures allowed paedophile gangs to exploit 1,500 girls over 16 years

Police, schools and social services knew but failed to intervene because they feared that tackling the gangs - who were predominantly Pakistani and targeted white girls as young as 11 - could be considered racist.

 In many cases, the girls were in care or had troubled home lives and were picked up by taxi drivers and passed around after being tricked into believing they were their girlfriends. Police officers dismissed the young victims as "slags".

The shocking scale of the scandal was exposed in 2014 in a report by Professor Alexis Jay which revealed that horrific rape attacks, threats, violence, child pregnancies, miscarriages and abortions were rife.
Rotherham's entire Labour-run council executive resigned, as did the Director of Child Services and South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner.
A 2015 government report by Louise Casey found that bullying and intimidation of council staff led to a silencing of whistleblowers and found the authority "not fit for purpose".
So far, 18 men and two women have been jailed for a total of 283 years following three Crown Court trials.
Sheffield Crown Court has heard many of the trials (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)
A further 40 people aged between 29 and 53 from Sheffield, Rotherham, Leeds, Dewsbury and Maidstone in Kent are still being investigated. The National Crime Agency has revealed that the 38 men and two women were arrested and questioned or interviewed by appointment in April and May.
The inquiry relates to sex abuse and exploitation of 13 victims aged 11 to 26 between 1997 and 2015.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct said 64 investigations out of 91 complaints about officers that were part of Operation Linden are complete.
The investigations include allegations that chief superintendents, assistant chief constables and deputy chief constables failed in their statutory duty to protect children.

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