Council chiefs to be quizzed by MPs over child sex gangs

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The current and former chief executive of a Yorkshire council are expected to be called before the Home Affairs Select Committee following claims of widespread child exploitation with gangs of Asian men grooming under-age white girls for sex.

An investigation last month claimed a confidential 2010 report by the Police Intelligence Bureau detailed “a significant problem with networks of Asian males exploiting young white females, particularly in Rotherham and Sheffield”, with officers reluctant to tackle the issue due to fear of cultural sensitivities.

Earlier this month, South Yorkshire Police chief constable David Crompton and detective chief inspector Philip Eldridge were repeatedly censured by the Home Affairs Select Committee about child sex abuse in Rotherham.

In a fiery session held immediately after the questioning of the forces’s response to the Hillsborough disaster, MPs heard evidence of a 22-year-old man going unpunished after being found in a car with a 12-year-old girl, a bottle of vodka and indecent images of her on his mobile phone.

Committee members also heard evidence of three unconvicted members of one family in Rotherham being linked to the abuse of 61 girls.

Now chairman Keith Vaz has revealed on Twitter that former Rotherham Council chief executive Mike Cuff, and current chief executive Martin Kimber, will shortly be called to give evidence before the committee.

A Rotherham Council spokesman said yesterday: “We are aware of Mr Vaz’s comments on Twitter but as yet we have not received a request to attend a select committee hearing.

“We will, of course be happy to assist Mr Vaz and his committee with their enquiries into this very important issue so we can outline the work which is being done in Rotherham to help tackle sexual exploitation.”

Senior South Yorkshire officers have said they are “frustrated” by reports police and council officers turned a “blind-eye” to the problem and said the ethnic origin of suspects has not been a factor at all in deciding to press charges.