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Under-Fire South Yorks Police Boss' Deputy Quits
The deputy of the under-fire South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Shaun Wright has stood down saying she believes he should have resigned over the Rotherham child abuse scandal.
Tracey Cheetham said it was vital for people to have confidence in the office, and said it would have been "the right thing" for him to go.
Her comments came as David Cameron added his voice to growing calls for Mr Wright to resign.
"The right decision would be to resign and take full responsibility for what happened," the Prime Minister said.
Mr Wright has insisted he will stay in the £85,000 a year post, despite mounting pressure for him to resign.
On Wednesday night he quit the Labour Party after it threatened to suspend him.
The former Rotherham councillor was responsible for children's services at the local authority for five of the 16 years when at least 1,400 children were abused.
On Tuesday, a highly critical report highlighted widespread failings at both Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police for allowing the exploitation to continue unchecked between 1997 and 2013.
In her statement, Ms Cheetham said she felt unable to continue in her role as deputy police and crime commissioner.
She said: "It is vital for people to have confidence in the office of Police and Crime Commissioner and with this in mind, I believe it would have been the right thing for Shaun Wright to resign.
"This has become even more apparent given the overwhelming opinion of the public - as they are the people to whom the Commissioner is ultimately accountable.
"I am incredibly sad that this issue has become centred on one person and we seem to have lost focus on the most important factor in all this; the 1,400 victims who were failed."
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has agreed with Ofsted that Rotherham will be the subject of an early inspection of its child protection and looked-after children's services.
She added: "I will not hesitate to take further action if necessary to ensure children are safe."
Meanwhile, the council says its director of children's services Joyce Thacker, who took up the post in 2008, will keep her job, saying there was no evidence she had done anything wrong.
The authority's chief executive, Martin Kimber, said: "If we start to lose those good people, we will be in very grave danger of doing the very thing we have been criticised for - failing to protect Rotherham's children and young people in the past."
It has emerged the police currently have 173 "live" investigations into suspected child sexual exploitation in South Yorkshire.
That number includes 32 investigations in Rotherham, which was the subject of the devastating report that told of 11-year-olds being gang raped and children being forced to watch violent sex abuse while being threatened they would be next.
The report by Professor Alexis Jay criticised police for "regarding many child victims with contempt" and not making exploitation a priority.
In the light of the inquiry's findings, Rotherham district police commander Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin offered an "unreserved" apology to victims of child sexual exploitation (CSE).
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it would be writing to the Chief Constable over the "serious and troubling concerns" raised about the conduct of the force.