Police watchdog making "good progress" in Rotherham child sex abuse inquiry

By Michael Upton | 15/05/2019

Police watchdog making 'good progress' in Rotherham child sex abuse inquiry

THE police watchdog investigating police officers accused of failing victims of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham says it is making “good progress” with its independent inquiry — which is second only in size to its probe into Hillsborough.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct team has combed through almost 20,000 documents and nearly 840 statements during Operation Linden.

The operation is considering South Yorkshire Police’s response to CSE between 1999 and 2011. whether senior officers failed in their statutory duty to protect children.

The IOPC said on Wednesday that 13 officers remained under investigation and 64 of its 90 investigations were now complete.

A spokesman said: “The next step is for us to share all of the completed investigation reports with South Yorkshire Police for their comment. 

“We continue to analyse the evidence we have gathered so far about the actions carried out by the senior command team, after allegations they received reports highlighting child sexual abuse was being carried out in Rotherham. 

“At this stage, we haven’t served any current or former officers with notices that their conduct is under investigation and our enquiries continue.”

IOPC director for major investigations, Steve Noonan, said: “We are pleased that Operation Linden continues to make good progress. 

“This operation is unprecedented in terms of size, scope and sensitivity and we still continue to receive referrals of complaints made by survivors. 

“I would like to thank all those involved, especially the survivors of the horrific abuse they suffered, for their patience and understanding while we finalise our investigations. 

"To protect the integrity of this operation, and due to its sensitivities, we will not provide ongoing comment about the progress of each individual investigation, or any potential conduct matters. 

“At the appropriate time, we will produce an over-arching report that pulls together all of the findings, outcomes and learning from Operation Linden. 

“Our ultimate aim is to ensure that all those affected can be confident that their complaints have been comprehensively investigated, and for South Yorkshire Police and indeed all forces across the country to learn from our findings.”

Evidence being compiled and reviewed by the Operation Linden team dates back as far as the early 1990s and so far includes 19,345 documents, 1,334 exhibits and 838 statements. 

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