Police receive over 100 compensation claims after Rotherham sex abuse scandal

More than 100 alleged victims of child sex abuse in Rotherham have claimed for compensation from South Yorkshire Police.

South Yorkshire Police's headquarters
South Yorkshire Police's headquarters

Police force has received 103 claims so far and settled 55 of them, but has not revealed how much compensation it has paid out.

The force has paid its solicitors around £2.3m and provided £1.3m to cover claimants’ solicitors fees, according to a response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

It comes after at least 1,400 children were raped, trafficked and abused by gangs of men of mainly Pakistani heritage in the town between 1997 and 2013.

An independent inquiry, led by professor Alexis Jay in 2014, criticised the “collective failures” of police, social workers and political leaders, and provoked a wave of resignations and further inquiries.

The FOI response states each compensation claim is "reviewed on an individual basis" and settlement figures are "based upon medical prognosis following examination of each of their medical records and their life histories".

A police spokeswoman said: “Whenever a claim for compensation is received, this is properly and fully investigated by our solicitors. Claims are either settled or contested on the basis of what the investigation of the facts has determined.

"In respect of compensation amounts, we have given this significant consideration balancing the public’s right to know against the rights of the individual survivors who have received compensation. For many survivors, the settlement of compensation could allow the closure process to begin.

"Re-opening matters, by way of disclosure of the requested information to the world at large, has the potential to endanger the mental wellbeing of the parties concerned. With this in mind, it is our view that disclosure of compensation amounts would, endanger the wellbeing and mental health of the survivors.”

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launched Operation Linden into police conduct in relation to the scandal – the organisation’s second biggest inquiry after the investigation into the Hillsborough disaster – but this report has not yet been published.