Rotherham CSE scandal: Lack of accountability shows reform of police complaints process is needed - The Yorkshire Post says

The almost complete absence of accountability concerning the horrific child exploitation in South Yorkshire is a matter which brings shame upon our region.

It is eight years since Alexis Jay laid bare the true scale of the scandal in Rotherham yet we now learn that the long-awaited report into more than 200 allegations of police failures on the matter has failed to identify any individual accountability.

This failure once again completely lets down both the victims and survivors of the abuse. Let us not forget the scale of the horrors seen in Rotherham. Some 1,400 young girls were abused, groomed or trafficked in the town, yet complaints that reached South Yorkshire Police were virtually ignored, with officers ordered to prioritise other crimes, letting the evil gangs who carried out the abuse operate unimpeded.

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Yet despite this callous culture of disregard for the victims, we are now informed that not a single police officer has lost their job as a result of these failings, despite 265 separate allegations being made by more than 50 alleged victims.

South Yorkshire Police once again in the firing line.

In response to this, the commentary from the upper echelons of South Yorkshire Police has been the usual predictable platitudes of apologies and pledges that the force has learned lessons from the scandal.

This will be of almost zero comfort to the survivors and their families. Thousands of childhoods have been ruined. The mental scars in many cases will never heal and their life chances have been severely limited.

There can be no conclusion other than to recognise urgent reform of the police complaints process needs to be carried out. The whole model of policing by consent relies on the public trusting officers.

Until this is resolved and true accountability is delivered, the standing of South Yorkshire Police remains deeply questionable.