Watchdog probe for 42 officers
An investigation into how police handled child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham has been expanded after a watchdog received complaints involving more than 100 allegations against 42 named officers.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been examining the actions of 10 police officers involved in incidents highlighted by the Jay Report, which described how at least 1,400 children were raped, trafficked and groomed in the South Yorkshire town between 1997 and 2013.
Today the commission said that since that inquiry began in November 2014 it had received 30 complaints relating to South Yorkshire Police's handling of CSE in Rotherham.
It said in a statement: "The complaints contain more than 100 allegations against 42 named police officers, both retired and serving, as well as a number of allegations against officers whose identities are currently unknown."
The IPCC statement said: " Work to establish the identity of the unknown officers and to identify any links between the different complaints and incidents is ongoing.
"The allegations range from neglect of duty by failing to adequately investigate on the basis of intelligence or to deal with incidents appropriately, inappropriate comments and suggestions of corrupt relationships between police officers and offenders."
The commission said it was also investigating an allegation that South Yorkshire Police failed to act on information passed to them in 2004 and 2006 about alleged child sexual exploitation in Sheffield.
This complaint relates to two named police officers who are now retired from the police service, the IPCC said.
The Jay Report, published in August last year, unleashed a wave of controversy about what happened in Rotherham.
It painted a pictures of hundreds of teenagers, mainly girls, being exploited by gangs of mainly Asian men with impunity
Professor Alexis Jay, who wrote the report, said police and senior council officers had failed to tackle problem or take it seriously.
A wave of high profile resignations followed and the National Crime Agency was brought in to investigate the sexual exploitation in the town going back over a number of years.
The Jay Report was followed by another report by Louise Casey, which was scathing in its criticism of Rotherham Council and led to the replacement of the local authority's ruling cabinet with commissioners appointed by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.
After more revelations about the scale of CSE in neighbouring Sheffield, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Billings, last month called for a wide-ranging inspection of his force, along the lines of Ms Casey's review of the council's actions.