Detectives working on 193 investigations into child sexual exploitation in South Yorkshire

A Rotherham abuse victim
A Rotherham abuse victim

Detectives in South Yorkshire have 193 live investigations underway into child sexual exploitation in the county.

There are 57 cases under investigation in Doncaster, 50 in Rotherham, 48 in Sheffield and 38 in Barnsley.

A Rotherham abuse victim

A Rotherham abuse victim

New figures released by South Yorkshire Police show that between April 2014 and March this year there were 276 offences recorded by the force - 79 in Doncaster, 73 in Sheffield , 72 in Rotherham and 52 in Barnsley.

Of the 276 offences 71 have led to suspects being charged, cautioned or summoned to court - 21 in Doncaster, 19 in Sheffield, 17 in Barnsley and 14 in Rotherham.

The force has also revealed that over the last 12 months it has been contacted 743 times by people with concerns about child abuse.

Schools, social services and family members are among those who have raised concerns, which all need to be looked into.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “A referral to police is any concern that has been reported and can come from a number of sources including a school, social services or a concerned family member. It does not necessarily mean there has been an offence committed.

“Officers fully investigate all referrals and where an offence has been committed an investigation will be launched.

“In other cases where no criminal offences have taken place other agencies may offer support to the young person referred.

“Tackling child sexual exploitation and bringing offenders to justice is a priority for South Yorkshire Police.

“We are now operating with a deeper understanding of child sexual exploitation.”

Rotherham Council commissioned a report to look into the issue of child sexual exploitation in the town, which suggested that 1,400 children had been abused between 1997 and 2013 by largely Pakistani-heritage men while police and council officials turned a blind eye because of sensitivities around the ethnicity of offenders.