Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Rotherham sex abuse victims 'complained about PC Hassan Ali'

David Greenwood of Switalskis Solicitors
Image caption Solicitor David Greenwood said two clients asked him to complain to South Yorkshire Police about PC Hassan Ali

Two child sex abuse victims complained about a South Yorkshire Police officer before he was fatally injured in a car crash, their lawyer has said.

David Greenwood, of Switalskis Solicitors, said two clients asked him to complain to South Yorkshire Police about PC Hassan Ali.

PC Ali died nine days after being hit by a car in Sheffield on 28 January.

Mr Greenwood said the complaints were about PC Ali's "unwillingness to pursue complaints of exploitation".

A report published by Professor Alexis Jay in August said about 1,400 children were abused by gangs of men, mainly of Pakistani origin, from 1997 to 2013 in Rotherham.

In September, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it was investigating 10 South Yorkshire Police officers referred to the watchdog by the force over the handling of child sexual exploitation in the town.

It said it would not comment on the investigation relating to Mr Ali.

'Need to know'

Mr Greenwood, a child abuse solicitor at the Wakefield law firm, said allegations or complaints regarding PC Ali must be investigated and "got to the bottom of", regardless of his death.

"These are allegations of inappropriate activity by a police officer who is tasked and has a duty to investigate crimes," he said.

"If this has in the past caused girls to be exploited then we need to know about it."

He added: "The story of PC Ali is only one part of the whole story of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

"It's important that this element of the story is investigated properly so we can fit all the pieces together and understand what was happening and what allowed the exploitation to happen over such a long period."

The 44-year-old police officer was a neighbourhood officer based in Rotherham who had 18 years' service with the force. He was not on duty at the time of the crash.

South Yorkshire Police said the force was treating PC Ali's death as a "tragic accident". Officers are continuing to investigate the collision, which happened on Staniforth Road in Darnall on 28 January. No-one has been arrested in connection with the crash.

David Crompton, Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, said Mr Ali was a "well-liked officer" and colleagues had been left "devastated" by his death.

Image copyright Ben Lack
Image caption Hassan Ali, 44, was on foot when he was struck by a blue Vauxhall Corsa in Darnall on 28 January

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