South Yorkshire Police officer avoids sack despite admitting gross misconduct in Rotherham child sexual exploitation investigation

A South Yorkshire Police officer has avoided being sacked, despite admitting gross misconduct in relation to an investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, after a disciplinary panel said he should not be held personally accountable for "systemic failings" of the force.

A generic police picture.

Detective Constable Ian Hampshire admitted failing to properly investigate allegations made by a teenage girl that she had been raped by multiple men in the town in 2007 at a two-day a police misconduct hearing in Sheffield.

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Panel chairman Simon Mallett ruled on Tuesday that the officer, who has 23 years' service, would be given a final written warning and not dismissed.

Mr Mallett said the past failings of South Yorkshire Police in relation to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham were widely acknowledged, adding: "It would be wrong for this panel and it would be wrong for this officer to make him personally accountable for the systemic failings of the force."

A restriction preventing the reporting of the hearing was lifted on Tuesday.