Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Rotherham abuse: Police watchdog inquiry 'nearing closure'

South Yorkshire Police sign Image copyright PA
Image caption The IOPC is investigating complaints into former and serving police officers about how complaints in Rotherham were dealt with

An investigation into police responses during the Rotherham child abuse scandal is nearing closure, the police watchdog has said.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said 64 investigations of an original 91 complaints that were part of Operation Linden are complete.

The watchdog said 13 South Yorkshire officers remain under investigation.

In 2014, the Jay Report found the abuse of 1,400 children in the town over a 16-year period was ignored by agencies.

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The decision to investigate follows a complaint which was referred to the IOPC by South Yorkshire Police.

The investigations include allegations that chief superintendents, assistant chief constables and deputy chief constables failed in their statutory duties to protect children between 1999 and 2011.

It is believed to be the first time a police force's entire senior command has come under scrutiny by the watchdog.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption An independent report found at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham by gangs of men who were predominantly of Pakistani origin

Steve Noonan, the IOPC's acting director for major investigations, said it was examining the entire command team's response, not individual officers.

He added: "This operation is unprecedented in terms of size, scope and sensitivity and we continue to receive referrals of complaints made by survivors."

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