Thousands back Rotherham abuse survivor's call for new criminal investigation

By Michael Upton | 08/09/2017

Thousands back Rotherham abuse survivor's call for new criminal investigation

A PETITION calling for a criminal investigation into former Rotherham council managers and senior police officers in connection with the town’s child sex scandal attracted more than 3,000 supporters in just 18 hours.

It was set up yesterday by an abuse survivor known as Elizabeth after six reports concluded that no current or former manager should face disciplinary action for their conduct during the 1997 to 2013 period covered by the Jay Report.

Survivors and their relatives were outraged after the reports, costing £440,000, were published on Wednesday and there were angry exchanges during a three-and-a-half hour meeting at Rotherham Town Hall.

Elizabeth, whose real name cannot be used for legal reasons, described the outcome of the year-long investigation by law firm Gowlings as “absolutely diabolical”.

She told the Advertiser: “I was gutted to learn no-one will be held accountable.

“There was a debate about the scale of the problem but it does not matter if it’s one child or 1,000, there shouldn’t even be one.

“There have been eight reports now with the Jay and Casey Reports (published in 2014 and 2015) but these cannot be the last ones.

“They’ve spent all this money on new reports and they have just mirrored what Jay and Casey said — there’s no difference at all.

“There has to be grounds for a criminal investigation.”

Elizabeth said she felt the new reports had made herself and others groomed and abused in the past feel like victims again.

Her petition, hosted on the site, calls for a criminal investigation to be opened into the previous Senior Management Team of Rotherham Borough Council and their equivalents at South Yorkshire Police

“We are totally devastated, and we have every right to know who ignored us and why,” she said.

“We and our families need some closure from this living nightmare.”

Set up on Thursday, the online petition had been signed by 3,350 people by noon today.

When closed, it will be sent to Prime Minister Theresa May.

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