The investigation into the police handling of the Rotherham grooming gang scandal, in which around 1,400 young girls were sexually abused, has failed to impose criminal penalties or see officers fired for misconduct.
In a decision widely condemned by victims’ rights activists, politicians and lawyers, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) cleared former detective David Walker of any wrongdoing in the sex abuse scandal on children of Rotherham. The decision not to punish Walker means the 47 officers who were investigated following the 2014 Jay Report into grooming gang failures have not been punished.
Walker, formerly of South Yorkshire Police, had been accused of ignoring advice on potential child grooming, but the IOPC Fund says he ‘acted appropriately with all the information’ provided to him, reports the BBC.
Jayne Senior MBE, a key witness to the investigation who ran the young people’s project Risky Business between 1999 and 2011, said the former detective failed to investigate reports of two young teenage girls being sexually abused by a driver taxi, Senior claiming he had said, “It seems to be a social services matter.”
Providing evidence to the inquest this week, Walker claimed to have worked on as many as 180 cases at one point. He went on to admit that he does not always log child sexual abuse information into police databases, but said the information is sent to other officers or it was reasonable to expect other officers to investigate.
Former police detective turned rape gang whistleblower Maggie Oliver said the decision to clear all officers involved in the Rotherham scandal demonstrated the “corrupt” nature of police investigations.
“The expectations are way too low, senior officers should be monitoring and overseeing these decisions anyway, and the standards are just not high enough when it comes to child rape!” Oliver wrote on social media.
“But unfortunately, I am not shocked. We see it too often, and usually these cases don’t come to the public’s attention. But they are not uncommon.
“It’s corrupt!” They should ALL hang their heads in shame. It still makes my blood boil even after all these years!
Police report finds ‘many cases’ of grooming gang child sex crimes go unrecorded https://t.co/iYnQtZIIOA
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondres) November 25, 2021
Sarah Champion, the Labor MP for Rotherham, said the decision not to prosecute any police officers would be a “bitter disappointment” for victims of the grooming gangs.
“The sexual exploitation of children was not considered a priority. Investigations lacked resources. Officers were untrained and, far too often, indifferent,” the Labor MP said.
“The result was that potentially thousands of children were left to the most shocking abuses.”
The investigation, dubbed Operation Linden, was launched following the publication of the Jay Report in 2014, which found that at least 1,400 girls had been sexually abused.
The report says authorities must not ignore the reality of young, predominantly white girls being groomed by predominantly Pakistani heritage for fear of being branded as racists.
A 2020 report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct which just exonerated officers of harm said police had done just that, observing that Rotherham police officers were unaware that children were being sexually abused by “Asian” rape gangs due to politically correct fears within the police force.
A chief police inspector was quoted in the report as telling the father of a missing girl that Rotherham would ‘burst’ if they were made aware that ‘Asian’ grooming gangs were abusing young white girls.
The cover-up continues? Police in rape gang hotspot do not record ethnicity of attackers https://t.co/YGp7V7yrAL
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondres) January 2, 2022
Operation Linden investigated 47 police officers. While eight are believed to have committed “gross misconduct”, so far none have been fired or faced criminal charges.
Solicitor David Greenwood, who represented a number of Rotherham grooming gang victims, said of the inquest: ‘It is hugely disappointing that despite the best efforts of the brave women I represent, the disciplinary system police did not render any responsibility.”
Greenwood went on to warn that the lack of punishment for police misconduct will lead to a lack of trust in the police force on the part of future victims.
The IOPC Fund’s Director of Major Investigations, Steve Noonan, said: “We must now review the judgment and any potential impact on an ongoing investigation under Operation Linden before we can issue our report, which will cover 91 completed investigations. until now. .
“Our priority remains the well-being of survivors who have made the difficult decision to come forward. They have shown great bravery before and throughout our investigations and we must be respectful of their experiences.
The full report of Operation Linden is expected to be released later this month.
Rape gang whistleblower: Predators still at large due to ‘institutional cowardice’ https://t.co/Nw5MBTAxgs
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondres) April 7, 2021
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