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16.09.14

South Yorkshire PCC Shaun Wright finally quits over Rotherham

Shaun Wright, the South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner, has resigned today in the wake of the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal, having repeatedly refused to do so in recent weeks.

As previously reported by PSE, Wright was the councillor responsible for children's services at Rotherham Council from 2005 to 2010, when he received three reports about widespread abuse but failed to act, according to Professor Alexis Jay's damning report.

He initially refused to stand down immediately in wake of calls for him to resign, insisting it was “not the right thing” for him to leave; instead he planned to stand down in two years’ time.

In a statement announcing the resignation, he said that his role had become too prominent in terms public opinion and media coverage following the revelations about Rotherham and that this was detracting from the important issue of the 1,400 victims outlined in the report.

Wright’s statement goes on to say: “With this in mind, I feel that it is now right, to step down from the position of police and crime commissioner for South Yorkshire, for the sake of those victims, for the sake of the public of South Yorkshire and to ensure that the important issues outlined in the report about tackling child sexual exploitation can be discussed and considered in full and without distraction.

“As I’ve previously stated, I entered into public service to make a positive difference in South Yorkshire. Protecting vulnerable people and particularly victims of child sexual exploitation has been my number one priority as commissioner and much progress has been made over the last two years.

“My intention had always been to continue my work with South Yorkshire Police and partners in making all the necessary changes and improvements required to safeguard and support the victims of these horrific crimes, and indeed to protect further potential victims through preventative actions.

“On resigning, I therefore truly wish the force, all the very best in continuing the journey of positive transformational change of those essential services which protect and support our most vulnerable people.”

(Image: c. Lynne Cameron/PA Wire)

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