Six reports into Rotherham sex abuse scandal due to be published next month

Six reports into Rotherham sex abuse scandal due to be published next month

By Michael Upton | 22/08/2017

Six reports into Rotherham sex abuse scandal due to be published next month
Prof Alexis Jay

THE results of six separate probes into the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal are expected to be published next month — which one survivor hopes will see ex-council officers put in the dock.

Law firm Gowling WLG is due to reveal the outcome of its investigation into the conduct of senior staff employed by Rotherham Borough Council during the period covered by the damning Jay Report.

Another report will deal with the 2011 theft of 21 laptops from council office Norfolk House  said to contain sensitive details about abuse victims — and a third with the theft of files belonging to researcher Adele Gladman from the offices of youth project Risky Business in 2002.

Investigators have also been looking into how minutes from the council’s Key Players’ Group went missing, and a review is being carried out of the cases of 15 abuse victims which were highlighted in Prof Alexis Jay’s 2014 report, which found an estimated 1,400 children had been exploited or abused by men, mainly of Pakistani backgrounds.

Another report is being compiled by law firm Weightmans, details of which have not been released.

Minutes from a meeting of the council’s government-appointed commissioners said the Gowling Report, which stems from a £200,000-plus investigation commissioned in April last year, was expected to be published by last month.

But it is now hoped it could be formally released and discussed alongside other report findings at a meeting in September, which the public will be able to attend.

Commissioners’ minutes said chief executive Sharon Kemp was due to liaise with the National Crime Agency ahead of the report’s publication, suggesting criminal prosecutions could be a possible result.

One abuse survivor said she hoped to see officials brought to account and even put in the dock as a result.

“I want to see people brought to account, not just have the perpetrators of the abuse brought to justice,” she said.

“We were failed by the authorities left, right and centre and it’s not just the perpetrators that are at fault.

“In an ideal world it would be nice to see prosecutions, but I don’t know if it will get that far.”

Several senior council officers and councillors resigned in the wake of the Jay Report in August, 2014, and the Casey Report into council governance six months later.

No current or former police officer or council official has yet been arrested or charged in relation to the scandal.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said in May that it had 53 active investigations into police officers conduct.

Meanwhile, a total of 21 abusers and their accomplices have so far been jailed for 296 years between them in connection with the scandal.

The National Crime Agency is looking into thousands of lines of inquiry.

The father of one abuse survivor, whose daughter’s abusers have been jailed, said he was frustrated no action had yet been taken against police officers or council officials.

“I want to see investigations for misconduct and other offences,” he said.

“Questions need to be asked about why this happened and why they didn’t do their jobs. We have got justice in our case but we also want to see justice for those people, too. It doesn’t sit right with me that people took their salaries knowing this was going on."

While some key figures have disappeared from the public eye, some have taken senior roles elsewhere.

A council spokeswoman, who said all the reports were commissioned by the authority, added: “It is the council’s intention that these reports will be published in an open and transparent manner, as far as is possible and permissible by law, at a meeting to be held in September.”