“We need an investigation into who knew about CSE”

“We need an investigation into who knew about CSE”

By Gareth Dennison | 07/10/2020

“We need an investigation into who knew about CSE”


FRUSTRATED council opposition leader Allen Cowles will call for an investigation into whether criminal charges should be brought on those who knew about CSE but did nothing.

He said his frequent enquiries about the conduct of people in authority before the Rotherham abuse scandal broke had always been shut down.

Cllr Cowles said: “We are becoming known as the town where you can get away with anything.

“Each time I ask individuals in authority when will there be an investigation into those in authority, I receive the same answer.

“There is an ongoing police investigation and it may be investigated in the future.

“After this period of time I consider this response as specious, in my opinion this is a case of kicking the can down the road and if you kick it long enough and far enough it will end up in the long grass for burial.

“This response is simply not good enough. These children were groomed, exploited, abused sexually and raped.”

The Rotherham Democratic Party leader spoke out while presenting a petition on behalf of a survivor known as T, relating to errors in a March report about the delayed commissioning of adult support.

Cllr Cowles said: “It is now my intention to raise a further petition requesting that an investigation is started to determine if any criminal charges are applicable for taking no action.”

The National Crime Agency’s Stovewood investigation into historical child sex abuse in Rotherham is expected to take several more years to complete.

T attended the full council meeting in January to criticise the delays in RMBC commissioning new post-abuse support for CSE victims who are now adults.

The previous contracts — worth a total of £156,000 a year — were with Rotherham Rise, Grow and Rotherham Abuse Counselling Service.

These expired in March 2019 but two short-term extensions have been made in order to plug the gap until new provision is set up.

A report to councillors in March this year said: “This process was interrupted when significant concerns were raised in relation to clinical governance and service user safety.”

Cllr Cowles said: “It has taken us more than three years to put in place and provide post-abuse support   services and we don’t appear to have learned too much during in that time.

“Surely, we must be able to do better. My conclusion is beware of politicians who say we will learn lessons; it is so rarely the case.

“However, there are other underlying concerns to this situation, not just for me, but for the public also, that being, that there is still no one in authority who has been held to account for the failings that took place.

“In my opinion this is a gross dereliction of our public duty and long overdue that this situation should be rectified if possible.”

Cllr Cowles said he hoped to present the results of his own petition in the new year.

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