Inquiry into South Yorkshire Police's CSE failings 'more than 90 per cent complete'

By Adele Forrest | 17/01/2020

Inquiry into South Yorkshire Police's CSE failings 'more than 90 per cent complete'
Prof Alex Jay revealed 1,400 children were sexually exploited between 1997 to 2013 in Rotherham

AN INVESTIGATION into police officers accused of failing victims of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham is more than 90 per cent complete.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launched the investigation — second only in size to its probe into Hillsborough — in 2015.

It is believed the findings of the investigation — dubbed Operation Linden — could be made public this year.

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

In 2018, it launched a further investigation into the force’s senior command team over the 16-year period from 1997 to 2013, in which the Jay report said 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the town.

It was the first time a police force’s entire senior command team — more than 20 officers from chief inspectors upwards — had come under investigation by the police watchdog.

IOPC director of major investigations Steve Noonan said this week: “We are continuing to make significant progress with Operation Linden and we have completed more than 90 per cent of the enquiries we have identified so far. 

“A small number of investigation reports still need to be completed and our investigation into the actions of the former senior command team at South Yorkshire Police during the period of our investigation continues and is progressing well.

“Our priority throughout the investigation has, and always will be, the welfare of the many survivors of child sexual abuse we have been engaging with. 

“As their individual cases conclude, we provide them with a personal update on our findings.

“At the conclusion of all of our investigations we intend to publish an over-arching report covering all of the findings, outcomes and learning from our work on Operation Linden.”

Evidence being reviewed by the Operation Linden team dates back as far as the early 1990s and includes more than 20,000 documents and 840 statements.  

In May, the watchdog said it had not, at that time, served any current or former officers with notices that their conduct was under investigation.
 



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