Rotherham abuse survivor's scorn for "tick-box exercise" after new watchdog report into police failures over CSE

Rotherham abuse survivor's scorn for "tick-box exercise" after new watchdog report into police failures over CSE

By Michael Upton | 22/06/2022

Rotherham abuse survivor's scorn for 'tick-box exercise' after new watchdog report into police failures over CSE
Picture posed by model

 

A ROTHERHAM CSE survivor said there were no surprises in the IOPC's damning report into South Yorkshire Police's mishanding of widescale abuse, describing it as a “tick-box exercise”.

The survivor, who uses the pseudonym Elizabeth, is one of the subjects of the report as it documents how six of her complaints against South Yorkshire Police had been upheld - they were among 43 upheld out of 265.

These included that her father had been told by a senior officer that CSE had been “going on for 30 years and the police could do nothing because of racial tensions”; that officers failed to deal with perpetrators of the girl’s abuse; and that she was never spoken to about an incident were she was driven to Bristol by two Asian men before being dumped in the city and left to make her own way home after refusing to be abused by them.

Elizabeth said she was concerned the level of detail in the IOPC report could be triggering for some survivors and that no specific support had been put in place for them before it was published.

She added: “It does seem like the generic IOPC message whenever they do a report — that lessons will be learned.

“All they can do is make recommendations and whether SYP will implement them, I don’t know.”

Elizabeth said she felt fortunate so many of her complaints had been upheld but frustrated officers who let her down had not been identified.

“There have been positives for me personally but overall it feels like a tick-box exercise. “People should be held accountable and 43 complaints being upheld out of so many is dire.”

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion saod the IOPC’s report laid bare “appalling systemic failures” in South Yorkshire Police.

She added: “South Yorkshire Police let down those that it had a duty to protect.
“It has taken eight long years, but the truth is now out for all to see.

“There is still a long way to go before trust is rebuilt, ensuring the people of South Yorkshire have confidence in their police force again.

“Systems must be in place to share intelligence accurately and quickly.
“And the force must work closely with partner agencies not just to stop abuse, but to prevent it in the first place.”

Wentworth & Dearne MP John Healey said he was disappointed that the report revealed “very little new information”.

He added: “Big changes have now been made but no one is properly called to account for the past.

“Policing across South Yorkshire and the rest of the country has more to do to make sure such systemic failings can never happen again.”

South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said: “A great deal of time and money has been spent for few new findings or accountability.”

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion said: “It has taken eight long years, but the truth is now out for all to see.

“There is still a long way to go before trust is rebuilt, ensuring the people of South Yorkshire have confidence in their police force again.”

The IOPC report features disturbing accounts from survivors detailing how they were blamed or ignored and the toll this took, including one who
recounted: “I blamed myself entirely for the years of sexual abuse.

“On top of this I was told repeatedly by the police that I was responsible for my own actions — I hated myself.”