Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, has responded to the breaking news story regarding South Yorkshire Police and reports that police knew hundreds of girls were at risk of ongoing sexual abuse in Sheffield but failed to investigate many allegations.
Quote from Clive Betts
"In the Committee’s evidence session with Louise Casey, I asked about the position of the police and their role and responsibility in the failure to tackle child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. This latest story shows the police need to be fully held to account for their actions. South Yorkshire Police now need to accept the same level of responsibility as Rotherham local authority did and submit to an inspection along the lines of that conducted by Louise Casey.
The CLG Committee’s inquiry on child sexual exploitation in Rotherham heard from a number of witnesses including Louise Casey. We will publish our report next week with a number of recommendations relating to local government scrutiny and the role of Ofsted."
Louise Casey gave evidence on 23 February (PDF 305.25 KB) to the Communities and Local Government Committee, following her inspection of Rotherham Council. She said:
"...the police have to step up and accept the same level of responsibility to those victims and those perpetrators as the local authority. We were asked to inspect Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and we have left no stone unturned. It is a pretty thorough and damning report. The same level of scrutiny has not happened [...] to the police in Rotherham over that time period. (Q459)"
When asked whether this should happen, she said "In my view it should happen, yes." (Q460)