Campaigner's call for new Rotherham child abuse scandal probe

By Michael Upton | 05/06/2015

Campaigner's call for new Rotherham child abuse scandal probe

A CAMPAIGNER has called for an inquiry into the actions of senior public officials embroiled in the Rotherham’s child sex abuse scandal.

Feminist writer Jean Hatchet’s petition last autumn calling for prosecutions attracted almost 13,000 names.

But she told this week of her disappointment that nine months on from the damning Jay Report on child sexual exploitation (CSE), no investigation has been launched to look into the conduct of top Rotherham Borough Council and South Yorkshire Police officials.

The Jay Report found found 1,400 children in Rotherham were abused, mainly by men of Pakistani origin, while February's Casey Report declared the council "unift for purpose".

Council leader Roger Stone, children’s services director Joyce Thacker, chief executive Martin Kimber (pictured) and then-police commissioner Shaun Wright all resigned resigned in the wake of the scandal but no official proceedings have been launched against any public official.

Jean said: “I don’t think people should be allowed to slip away quietly and into other jobs.

“The likes of Joyce Thacker and Martin Kimber will all be going into the same sort of jobs, albeit maybe at a lower level.

“There doesn’t seem to be any further principle of who is being called to account.”

The self-professed Labour supporter said the party, which suspended three councillors and a former councillor last year, should be doing more to root out corruption and looking at the conduct of those in key positions in Rotherham during the period covered by Alexis Jay’s report on child sexual exploitation.

Jean called on police and crime commissioner to look at the possibility of prosecutions of senior officials and police chiefs.

Dr Billings, who has commissioned a review of the police’s handing of child sex abuse, said: “I’m quite clear that anyone involved in CSE at whatever level in any organisation must be held to account.”

A Labour Party spokesman said the investigation into the suspended Labour members was ongoing.

“We remain committed to bringing about the improvements and renewal Rotherham Council needs,” he added.

Read the full interview with Jean in this week’s Advertiser.

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