In Brief

Councillors and police 'had sex' with Rotherham abuse victims

Sordid allegations emerge as council is branded 'not fit for purpose' by inspectors

Two local councillors, one of whom is still serving, and a police officer have been accused of having sex with victims involved in the Rotherham child abuse scandal.

The South Yorkshire Police constable at the centre of the allegations is also alleged to have passed on information to gangs grooming young girls in the town. A second police officer has been accused of neglecting his duties after failing to report his colleague. Both claims are being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The complaints against the two Rotherham councillors "are understood to have been sent to the National Crime Agency, which is investigating child-sex crimes in the town," according to The Times, which helped expose the abuse in Rotherham and published confidential documents that pointed towards police and council knowledge of the abuse in 2012.

The news comes on the same day that a much-anticipated independent inspection report by former Victims' Commissioner Louise Casey declared Rotherham Borough Council "not fit for purpose".

The findings make uncomfortable reading for councillors in a town that has been at the centre of one of the country's worst abuse scandals. The inquiry was set up to ascertain the extent of any cover-up and look at the treatment of whistleblowers by Rotherham following last year's damning report .

It discovered a culture of bullying, sexism, suppression and misplaced "political correctness" and a "deep-rooted" culture of cover-ups, reports the BBC.

Casey's investigation was ordered last year after a report by former chief inspector of social work Alexis Jay, which blamed Rotherham council and South Yorkshire Police for failing to prevent the "appalling" abuse of 1,400 children by gangs of men between 1997 and 2013.

Girls as young as 11-years old suffered rape by multiple attackers, trafficking across the North East, abductions, beatings and intimidation. The reports found that councillors and police officers were aware of the abuse, but chose to "disbelieve, suppress or ignore" it.

The scandal has led to the resignation of a number of high-profile figures including Labour council leader Roger Stone, the council's chief executive Martin Kimber, and former head of children's services in Rotherham, Shaun Wright, who stepped down from his role as police commissioner.

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