The man in charge of police in a town in northern England where at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited over a 16 year period is rejecting calls to step down.
Shaun Wright headed children’s services at Rotherham Council between 2005 and 2010 when the abuse was going on, before becoming South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
“The fact is that when he was a cabinet member of children’s services in Rotherham there were three, not one, two, but three reports, which highlighted the situation and nothing was done about it,” said Colin Ross, leader of the Liberal Democratic group on Sheffield Council.
“How many of those victims could have been spared if action had been taken – robust action had been taken – by Rotherham Council? Shaun Wright was in the position to influence that decision,” he said.
Police are also being blamed for failing to protect children as young as 11 who were groomed, threatened and raped by multiple sexual predators – mostly described as of Asian origin. Victims were white girls.
An independent report into the abuse, between 1997 and 2013, found that council staff were afraid of being labelled ‘racist’.
Shaun Wright insists that tackling child abuse is a key priority for South Yorkshire Police.