Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Rotherham abuse: NCA to investigate child sex allegations

Chief Constable David Crompton
Image caption Chief Constable David Crompton asked the NCA to look into the force's handling of grooming reports

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is to lead an investigation into outstanding allegations of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

The NCA said it was taking on the investigation following a request from South Yorkshire Police last month.

Both the force and the NCA declined to comment further on the scope of the investigation.

It comes after the Jay report found more than 1,400 children in the town were abused from 1997 to 2013.

'Represents an opportunity'

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has called for a separate inspection into whether Rotherham Council covered up information about the abuse.

The report by Professor Alexis Jay, published in August, detailed how children had been subjected to trafficking, rape and other sexual exploitation over a 16-year period and how their abuse had been ignored by a range of agencies, including police, councillors and council officials.

The controversy that followed led to a series of high-profile resignations, including Rotherham's strategic director of children's services, Joyce Thacker, and South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright, who had been the councillor with responsibility for children's services between 2005 and 2010.

After Mr Wright's resignation last month, Mr Crompton said: "This represents an opportunity for the force, and the county, to move forward in light of Professor Jay's report about child sexual exploitation.

"The force has referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and is in detailed discussion with the National Crime Agency to oversee an independent inquiry into allegations of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

"Any organisations or individuals found to be at fault will be held to account."

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