“Zero Accountability” – Police solved in “Grooming” rape gangs scandal

The investigation into police handling of the Rotherham grooming gang scandal, which saw an estimated 1,400 young girls sexually abused, has not imposed any criminal penalties or fired officers for misconduct.

In a decision widely condemned by victims’ rights campaigners, politicians and advocates, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has cleared former detective David Walker of any wrongdoing in the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal. The decision not to fine Walker means all 47 officers investigated for grooming gang failures after the 2014 Jay Report went unpunished.

Walker, formerly of South Yorkshire Police, has been accused of ignoring tips on possible childcare, but the IOPC claims he “acted appropriately with all information provided to him,” reports the BBC.

Jayne Senior MBE, a key witness to the investigation, who ran the Risky Business youth project between 1999 and 2011, said the former detective failed to investigate information about two young teenage girls who were sexually assaulted by a taxi driver, with Senior claiming that “this appears to be a social services issue.”

Walker provided evidence for the investigation this week and claimed to have worked on as many as 180 cases at any point. He further admitted that he did not always record child sexual abuse information in police databases, but said the information was passed on to other officers or there was a reasonable expectation that other officers would investigate.

Former police detective-turned-rape gang whistleblower Maggie Oliver said the decision to release all officers involved in the Rotherham scandal showed the “corrupt” nature of the police investigation.

“Expectations are way too low, senior officials should be monitoring and overseeing these decisions anyway, and standards just aren’t high enough when it comes to child rape!” Oliver wrote on social media.

“But unfortunately I’m not shocked. We see this all too often, and usually these cases don’t go public. But they are not rare.

“It’s corrupt! They should all hang their heads in shame. It still gets my blood boiling even after all these years!”

Sarah Champion, the Labor MP for Rotherham, said the decision not to prosecute police officers will be a “bitter disappointment” for victims of the grooming gang.

“Sexual exploitation of children has been treated as a low priority. The investigation was underfunded. Officers were untrained and far too often callous,” said the Labor MP.

“The result has been that potentially thousands of children have been subjected to abuse of the most shocking kind.”

The investigation, dubbed Operation Linden, was launched after the release of the Jay Report in 2014, which found at least 1,400 girls had been subjected to sexual abuse.

The report said authorities should not overlook the reality that mostly white young girls of mainly Pakistani heritage are being groomed for fear of being branded as racist.

A 2020 report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which just acquitted officers of wrongdoing, says police did just that, observing that police officers in Rotherham overlook politically correct fears within the police force that children have been sexually abused by “Asian” rape gangs.

A police chief inspector was quoted in the report as telling a father of a missing girl Rotherham would “break out” if they were informed that “Asian” foster gangs were abusing young white girls.

Operation Linden investigated 47 police officers. While eight are said to have engaged in “gross misconduct,” none have been fired or prosecuted.

Attorney David Greenwood, who represented a number of Rotherham grooming gang victims, said of the inquest: “It is extremely disappointing that the police disciplinary system has failed to deliver accountability despite the best efforts of the courageous women I represent. “

Greenwood went on to warn that the lack of penalties for police misconduct would result in a lack of trust in the police among future victims.

Steve Noonan, the IOPC’s Director of Major Investigations, said: “We must now review the ruling and possible implications for an ongoing investigation into Operation Linden before we can publish our report, which will cover 91 investigations completed to date.

“Our priority remains the welfare of the survivors who have made the difficult decision to come forward. They have shown great courage both before and during our investigation and we must respect the experience they have had.”

The full report of Operation Linden is expected to be released later this month.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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