In August 2014, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham was published.
This inquiry, led by Professor Alexis Jay, was commissioned by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in 2013 to look at child sexual exploitation in the town between 1997 and 2013.
The report found a number of failings in the way child sexual exploitation was dealt with in the past.
It also recognised that over the last four years South Yorkshire Police has completely overhauled the way it deals with child sexual exploitation and that tackling this crime is a priority for the force.
Following the publication of the report the Chief Constable called for an independent investigation.
It has now been agreed that Trevor Pearce, the Director of Investigations for the National Crime Agency (NCA), will lead this investigation. Work to determine the terms of reference for the investigation is ongoing.
What are we doing now?
All officers in South Yorkshire have received child sexual exploitation awareness training and it is every officers' responsibility to spot the warning signs of sexual exploitation when interacting with young people. In addition, the Force has a number of specially trained officers who deal specifically with child sexual exploitation cases and missing people.
These staff are co-located within multi-agency teams within each borough of South Yorkshire. These teams are dedicated to safeguarding young people, working with at risk individuals, disrupting offenders and helping victims escape the cycle of abuse.
Public Protection Units
Public Protection Units are dedicated units located at Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham.
Highly experienced child abuse investigators work from these units and investigate all aspects of child abuse, whether this is of a sexual, physical, emotional or neglectful nature.
These include all inter-familial incidents, abuse by professionals or those in a position of trust and historic sexual abuse. These offences are fully investigated by Child Abuse Officers who specialise in interviewing children. Each case is dealt with thoroughly and professionally, including the interview of potential suspects through to any subsequent court hearing.
Each Public Protection Unit has access to specialist interview suites, where victims accounts can be taken sympathetically and in comfortable surroundings.