John welcomes police inquiry

MP John Healey has welcomed moves by South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner to launch a full-scale inspection into South Yorkshire Police, just as Rotherham council has undergone.

The inquiry, announced on Friday, will be county-wide and look at why police failed to listen to victims of child sexual exploitation, and whether things have changed.

The Wentworth & Dearne MP said: “South Yorkshire Police let down young girls in Rotherham in a terrible way, and there is still a long way to go before they regain the confidence of people in our town.

“Dr Billings is right to say that trust in South Yorkshire Police has been severely damaged and he is right to announce this thorough inspection.

“A Casey-style inquiry is an important next step for the police, and they have to be relentless in pursuing the abusers and bringing more to justice.

“Rotherham’s Labour councillors commissioned the Jay report in 2013 to establish what was going on with child sex abuse, and went wrong in the council. We need a similar inquiry that will leave no stone unturned in finding out why police failed so badly to protect young girls and prosecute those who exploited them.

“The force is already facing significant pressures but it is important that we get to the truth, so we can be confident the changes needed are all made and our town can be more confident about the future.

“I support the work the Chief Constable David Crompton and Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings have done so far in increasing the number of officers dealing with child sexual exploitation, which has resulted in more charges being brought, but still more must be done to put the offenders behind bars.”