Saturday, 27 February 2016

South Yorkshire police refuse to disclose data

"Victims of child sexual abuse in Rotherham are set to take South Yorkshire police to court to force them to hand over confidential records on how they handled decades of abuse in the town."

"A Sheffield lawyer, acting for 65 victims, has said he has no other choice as the force is refusing to disclose data, call logs and other documentation that could establish if allegations that officers turned a blind eye to grooming in the town were true."

"David Greenwood believes if he can prove this is so, the girls, now women in their 30s and 40s, will have a case under Article 3 of the Human Rights Act, which protects against torture but also `inhuman or degrading treatment`..."

"Initially he met with the same resistance from Rotherham metropolitan borough council, which the victims are also planning to sue over alleged negligence."

"The council has now conceded that it is safe to make the disclosures after Greenwood gave a legal undertaking that the documents would not be shared with the victims, but used to establish if there was evidence for civil proceedings."

" `The police are putting up stiff resistance,` said Greenwood. `The police and the CPS don’t like it. I have offered them the same undertaking as the council and they are still saying no’."

"He plans to make an application for pre-action disclosure in the next two weeks..."

"Adele Gladman last year described how her evidence was ignored by Rotherham council and South Yorkshire police after she provided them with information about suspected abusers."

"In evidence to the home affairs select committee, originally given anonymously, she said she had raised concerns with police as far back as 2001 that children were `actively being placed at risk by social care and the police because of a lack of action against suspected abusers and a lack of support and understanding of the issues for the children concerned`."

"She said her concerns were repeatedly dismissed by police as anecdotal and when she submitted her report to South Yorkshire police, the feedback she got was that it was unhelpful..."

"It was revealed on Wednesday that the Independent Police Complaints Commission was investigating 54 named officers as part of a major inquiry into allegations about how South Yorkshire police dealt with child sexual exploitation in Rotherham."

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