In one of the most sensational abuse scandals in recent British history, the responsible supervisory authority has made serious allegations against the police.
According to a report published by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) on Wednesday, investigators in the northern English town of Rotherham often did not take the underage victims of an abuse ring that had been active for years seriously, looked the other way or blamed them for the crimes committed against them .
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“We found in many cases that crimes were not recorded as intended, including reports of sexual assault and sexual activity with a child,” the report said.
Between 1997 and 2013, around 1,400 girls aged 11 to 16 were victims of gang sexual abuse in Rotherham, near Sheffield. Many of the victims came from difficult family backgrounds or lived in institutions. They were raped, beaten and threatened. The perpetrators were mostly men from Pakistan. In several trials, dozens of men were sentenced to long prison terms.
The investigation now focused on 47 active and former police officers. The supervisory authority found misconduct in eight of them, and serious misconduct in six cases. Some of the officers were already retired and therefore could not be prosecuted under disciplinary law. Warnings were given in five cases. However, there were no layoffs. (dpa)