Socialist Worker

Cops saw vulnerable children as just a 'nuisance' and 'drain on resources'

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2460

An investigation into child abuse in Rotherham, south Yorkshire, has identified “hundreds” of suspects including one former and one current councillor.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is examining 92 boxes of evidence as part of Operation Stovewood.

The investigation follows a report by Professor Alexis Jay last year, which estimated that 1,400 children had suffered child sexual exploitation (CSE) between 1997 and 2013.

Operation Stovewood is investigating non-familial CSE and abuse during that period.

Jay found evidence that some police officers blamed victims for abuse or did not see protecting them as a priority.

A separate investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission is looking into complaints against 42 named police officers in relation to CSE. 

Complaints include “suggestions of corrupt relationships between police officers and offenders”.

Police knew that abusers were targeting children outside schools and care homes across the West Midlands in March 2010 according to a confidential report.

The Birmingham Mail obtained the police report using the Freedom of Information Act.

The report said nearly half of the identified suspects were Pakistani males and that highlighting the abuse could cause “significant community tensions”. 

But it seems authorities’ attitudes towards the victims lay behind their failure to act.

A confidential police briefing from October 2009 said officers saw children who run away from care homes as “a nuisance and permanent drain on resources”.

Mold Crown Court last week found three men guilty of historical sexual offences against children in the Wrexham area during the 1980s. 

The men convicted were Gary Cooke, David Lightfoot and Roy Norry.

The jury is still considering charges against a further four men. 

Unlike other abuse cases, the mainstream media didn’t find it necessary to comment on the ethnicity of the men, who are all white.

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Tue 30 Jun 2015, 16:20 BST
Issue No. 2460
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