The Police and the Raped Rotherham Children By Richard Miller (London)
Proof that the police do not serve and protect us, the “little people,” including, literal little people, children, comes from the Rotherham travesty where police knowingly allowed gangs of migrants to groom and rape children, turning a blind eye because of fear of “racism,” or so they say. Although officers were found by official investigations to have failed in their duty, apparently none have been sacked. It sounds a bit conspiratorial to me.
“A Rotherham survivor said today she was 'disgusted' after a report into the scandal revealed almost 50 police officers all kept their jobs despite looking the other way as 1,400 girls were abused, trafficked and groomed.
The long-awaited investigation by the police watchdog - which took eight years to publish and cost £6m - found officers in South Yorkshire 'failed to protect vulnerable children' following a series of offences carried out between 1997 and 2013.
A total of 47 current and former officers were investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) - but none were fired, despite 265 separate allegations being made by more than 50 complainants.
The IOPC's investigation catalogued how children as young as 12 were seen as 'consenting' to their abuse by officers, who were told to prioritise other crimes.
The report was met with an outcry of fury from campaigners and current police chiefs, who admitted victims had been let down.
Sammy Woodhouse, 37, who was groomed and raped from the age of 14, told the Mirror: 'Not one person has been held to account for anything, despite all this evidence they have and they've retired and got full pensions.
'It's been a ten year fight and I've put my heart and soul into everything. I have gone into detail to the police, to the IOPC, to report after report, to training events.
'I am trying to have people held to account but have not been successful. If you look at all the other places such as Rochdale, no one has been held to account for that. They are just able to get away with it. I'm disgusted.'
South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner said today's findings 'fail to identify any individual accountability', while the town's MP said the report 'lays bare the appalling systemic failures at South Yorkshire Police'.
Locals in the town also expressed their disgust today, including sisters Danielle Holmes and Tammy Frail.
They told the BBC: 'The police didn't do a good enough job to protect people.
'We know a couple of the victims and we know they didn't get the full support that they probably should have received. I bet they feel like they were punished, not the police.
'If you're going to the police for help, they should help you. It doesn't make you feel safe when they only get a final written warning.'
The IOPC report detailed how one parent concerned about a missing daughter said they were told by an officer 'it was a 'fashion accessory' for girls in Rotherham to have an 'older Asian boyfriend' and that she would grow out of it'.
Today's document revealed how the watchdog upheld a total of 43 complaints made against the force. These blunders included:
IOPC director-general Michael Lockwood said in the report: 'We found that officers were not fully aware, or able to deal with, Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSE) offences and showed insufficient empathy towards survivors who were vulnerable children and young people.
'We saw examples of SYP seeing children, and young people, as 'consenting' to their exploitation, and a police culture that did not always recognise survivors as victims, or understand that, often, neither did those being groomed or abused.'
The IOPC identified systemic problems within South Yorkshire Police at the time, detailing how CSE in Rotherham was dealt with by a small 'overwhelmed' unit, which had a number of other responsibilities.
The report criticised the force for prioritising other crimes, such as burglary and vehicle crime, at the expense of CSE and it found 'little evidence that SYP's leadership identified, and acted on, emerging concerns about (CSE)'.
IOPC director of major investigations Steve Noonan said: 'Our report shows how SYP failed to protect vulnerable children and young people.
'Like other agencies in Rotherham at that time, it was simply not equipped to deal with the abuse and organised grooming of young girls on the scale we encountered.'
Mr Noonan praised the survivors of CSE in Rotherham who came forward to help his investigators conduct the biggest inquiry the watchdog has undertaken apart from the Hillsborough disaster probe.
He said 51 people made complaints, including 44 survivors, involving 265 separate allegations.
Of the 47 officers investigated, eight were found to have a case to answer for misconduct and six had a case to answer for gross misconduct.
Five of these officers received sanctions ranging from management action up to a final written warning. Another faced a South Yorkshire Police misconduct hearing earlier this year, and the case was found not proven by an independent panel.
In many cases, officers had retired and could not face disciplinary proceedings, the IOPC said. Only two cases reached the point of a public adjudication hearing.
South Yorkshire's PCC Alan Billings said: 'I am disappointed that after eight years of very costly investigations, this report fails to make any significant recommendations over and above what South Yorkshire Police have already accepted and implemented from previous investigations some years ago.
'It repeats what past reports and reviews have shown - that there was unacceptable practice between 1997 and 2013 - but fails to identify any individual accountability.”