Police: "Insufficient evidence" for new Rotherham Council abuse scandal investigation

By Michael Upton | 22/09/2017

Police: 'Insufficient evidence' for new Rotherham Council abuse scandal investigation

SOUTH Yorkshire Police has ruled out a new investigation into former council managers and councillors over the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal — despite more than 16,000 people backing calls for a fresh probe.

An abuse survivor known as Elizabeth launched a petition demanding a fresh criminal investigation after law firm Gowlings concluded no individual should face disciplinary action over the failings highlighted in the Jay and Casey reports of 2014 and 2015.

Six reports were published two weeks ago and described “systemic failure” in Rotherham but said no officer or councillor appeared to be responsible for the local authority failing to get to grips with grooming and abuse during the 1997 to 2013 period covered by the Jay Report.

Asked by the Advertiser for a response to the calls for them to look into former senior council figures, many of whom refused to answer questions from Gowlings, the police issued the following statement: 
“We have reviewed all the reports which were published by Rotherham Borough Council on September 6, and in particular (we) have considered in detail comments made by the author of the Gowling Report. 
“As a result, we have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to justify a criminal investigation.”

Elizabeth said she was “not at all surprised” by the police’s response but added: “How can they come to that conclusion without doing their own investigations?

“The police could have made people speak who did not take part with the original probe.”

Elzabeth said she still had hope an independent police force could be brought in to look into former council officers.

Her petition on the change.org site, which also calls for a new criminal investigation into former senior officers at South Yorkshire Police, will be sent to Prime Minister Theresa May when closed.

She said she had no plans to close it soon as people were still signing and was targeting the 100,000 threshold needed for the issue to be debated in Parliament.

A police spokeswoman highlighted that the Independent Police Complaints Commission was currently conducting 88 individual investigations into officers regarding their handling of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, with the outcomes of these investigations are expected next year.”

To sign the petition, visit change.org and search for “Justice for Rotherham Survivors”.

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