ALMOST 900 cases of child sexual exploitation (CSE) have been reported to South Yorkshire Police in the last year.
A new report by South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Dave Jones to the county’s police and crime commissioner Dr Alan Billings revealed there are currently around 200 active investigations.
It said there were an average of 75 cases per month across South Yorkshire between April 2015 and March 2016.
In the report, Mr Jones said: “Between April 2015 and March 2016 South Yorkshire Police received 894 child safeguarding referrals reporting to relate to CSE, an average of 75 per month.
“South Yorkshire continues to see an upward trend in safeguarding referrals relating to CSE.
“The very nature of CSE offending means that victims often report their experiences a considerable time after the offence has occurred.
“In South Yorkshire, almost 50 per cent of CSE crimes recorded relate to offending occurring more than a year prior to the incident being reported and often relate to offences committed considerably earlier.
“Rotherham continues to be the area recording most offences but is also the area with the highest proportion of historic offences recorded.”
Mr Jones said due to the historic nature of many of the recorded CSE crimes they were harder to investigate.
“This has led to a considerable operational demand on CSE investigators with 183 ongoing investigations,” he added.
Mr Jones said the team tasked with investigating the crimes, the public protection unit, currently had the “highest caseload of any part of the force, an average of over nine crimes per officer.”
The outcome rate for offences recorded between April 2015 and March 2016 showed 37 per cent were resolved by way of charge/summons, caution, restorative justice or other sanction.
Since 2013 SYP’s public protection unit has recieved £5 million worth of investment and 63 officers and staff added since last April, the report added.