Latest Public Sector News


NCA review criticises police failings over Rotherham abuse

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has criticised a catalogue of police failings that allowed criminals to sexually abuse more than 1,400 children in Rotherham over a 16-year period, in a new review of operations.

It has also recommended a review of three further South Yorkshire Police operations, only one of which resulted in prosecutions, with the aim of pursuing offenders.

The review published today of three current South Yorkshire Police investigations into child sexual exploitation (CSE) was critical of the force in relation to its failings in the Rotherham abuse scandal.

It found that the force did not use alternative ways to gather evidence and did not use alternative strategies to protect victims. It also found that the police failed to work effectively with local authorities to deal with offenders.

The findings mirror those of Louise Casey, whose own report resulted in the mass resignation of the Rotherham council cabinet after she found the whole council “not fit for purpose”.

She was tasked with inspecting the council by communities secretary Eric Pickles following the Jay Report, which exposed at least 1,400 children in the Rotherham area had been sexually exploited over a 16 year period, and that the council had been aware of the problem as far back as 2005.

The NCA review, led by deputy director André Baker, found that current officers and staff working on Operations Clover, Monroe and Mark are “conscientious, enthusiastic and focused upon providing good outcomes”. The force’s current strategic leadership of this critical area of public protection was found to be “professional and appropriate”.

However, the NCA report has made a total of 48 recommendations for further improvement at both strategic and operational levels. 

The review was requested by the chief constable of South Yorkshire Police, David Crompton, as part of phase one of Operation Stovewood – an independent NCA investigation examining criminal allegations of non-familial child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham. 

NCA director Trevor Pearce, the officer in overall charge of Operation Stovewood said: “A review of these three investigations has identified improvements that need to be made at both strategic and operational level. Many of the issues identified by the review team have already been addressed by the force or work is in hand to do so.

“I have discussed the recommendations with South Yorkshire Police and I am confident that we now have a foundation from which to deliver a set of consistent, victim-focused and coordinated investigations to identify, disrupt and bring to justice those responsible for harming vulnerable individuals in Rotherham within the period covered by the Alexis Jay Report.

“South Yorkshire Police has already made a number of arrests in relation to these matters and other offenders who believe that their past actions will never catch up with them should think again.”

Following the report all relevant South Yorkshire Police investigations will now be coordinated under Operation Stovewood. Operations Clover and Monroe will continue to be managed independently on a day by day basis by South Yorkshire Police, as the review team found that they were “making good progress and have existing links with victims and witnesses”. 

However a third, Operation Mark, will be integrated into Stovewood.

(Image source: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >