A senior Rotherham police officer has reportedly admitted to turning a blind eye to a number of cases of sexual abuse of children by Pakistani grooming gangs for several decades due to worries that an investigation would increase “racial tensions”, a report from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) revealed, as quoted by The Times.
According to the newspaper, a chief police officer whom the IOPC was reportedly unable to identify, said in a conversation with the father of one of the victims that “with it [gang members] being Asians, we can’t afford for this to be coming out as Rotherham would erupt”, also referring to the child abuse in the city by British Pakistani men as “P*** shagging”.
The officer allegedly told the girl’s father when the latter came to complain about his daughter being missing for weeks that “it had been going on for 30 years and the police could do nothing because of racial tensions”.
The IOPC reportedly upheld six of the survivor’s complaints against South Yorkshire Police dating back to 2002, after five years of investigation as part of a larger probe known as Operation Linden, but was unable to hold any people accountable in connection with the case.
“South Yorkshire Police recognises the failings of its past and accepts the findings of the IOPC”, a South Yorkshire Police spokesperson was quoted as saying when referring to the report. “It is unfortunate no individual officer has been identified by the IOPC as this is not something we tolerate in today's Force”.