UK & World News

  • 3 September 2014, 0:46

Rotherham Abuse Scandal: Twelve New Victims

Twelve more victims have come forward with allegations of child sexual abuse inRotherham, police have said.

South Yorkshire Chief Constable David Crompton said the dozen had reported the claims since a damning report was published last week into a child sex exploitation scandal in the town.

The Jay Report criticised the failure of both Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police to respond to the abuse of 1,400 young people between 1997 and 2013.

The report detailed harrowing examples of girls from the town - many of them in local authority care - who were raped, trafficked and threatened with extreme violence.

It found senior council officers, elected members and police officers were aware of the problem for years but failed to tackle it.

Mr Crompton told an MPs' committee he now has 62 officers dedicated to dealing with child sex abuse, compared to just three in 2010 and eight in 2012.

And he said 104 convictions had been secured since the start of 2013, while 40 more suspects were on bail.

His force is conducting nine "multiple victim, multiple offender" investigations, including two in Rotherham, he said.

An independent inquiry by an external police force will look into the force's handling of sex abuse complaints.

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Theresa May has said Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police were guilty of a "complete dereliction of duty" over the scandal.

Addressing MPs in the House of Commons, she said the Jay Report made "shocking reading," adding there was no excuse for victims' appeals for help being ignored.

She said: "We must ensure these perpetrators are brought to justice. We will not delay in taking action now to protect children who are at risk of sexual exploitation.

"All local authorities working with other public bodies, like the police, health and children's services, have a responsibility to keep our children safe."

Mrs May said she would be chairing meetings with other ministers to look at what happened in Rotherham and consider what can be done to prevent the situation happening again.

Her comments come as South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner is expected to face a grilling from MPs after his refusal to resign over the Rotherham abuse scandal.

Shaun Wright was responsible for children's services at the town council for five of the 16 years when children were reported to have been targeted by gangs of older men.

The Home Affairs Select Committee will ask Mr Wright to appear on September 10, along with Rotherham Council's chief executive Martin Kimber and director of children and young people's services Joyce Thacker.

Mr Wright has faced mounting pressure to step down following the Jay Report.

He quit the Labour Party last week after it threatened to suspend him over the scandal.

But he has so far refused to quit as police commissioner despite calls from a number of senior figures, including Prime Minister David Cameron.

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