Offences against Children: Rotherham and Telford

Attorney General written question – answered on 1st August 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Pearson of Rannoch Lord Pearson of Rannoch Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that prosecutions are brought against (1) the members of the child sexual exploitation gangs in Rotherham and Telford, and (2) the responsible authorities that failed to prevent the abuse from taking place.

Photo of Lord Stewart of Dirleton Lord Stewart of Dirleton The Advocate-General for Scotland

Following the Alexis Jay report in 2014 and identification of the problems that existed in responding to investigations of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) gangs in Rotherham, the National Crime Agency (NCA) launched Operation Stovewood, a dedicated team investigating similar offending which had occurred within Rotherham. As outlined in the Telford Inquiry report, a number of other forces across the country have successfully investigated similar offending in their force areas.

The CPS has a national response to these types of investigations. Each area has formerly dealt with large CSE cases within their Rape and Serious Sexual Offence (RASSO) units. Since its inception, Operation Stovewood has been handled by a team of lawyers within the former Organised Crime Division. On 1 April 2022, the CPS created a new unit in direct response to the number and scale of these investigations being undertaken across England and Wales. The Organised Child Sexual Abuse Unit (OCSAU) is a dedicated team of lawyers, which in addition to the casework generated by NCA Op Stovewood and Child Exploitation and Online Protection teams, will undertake all similar casework generated by police forces nationwide.

The unit currently has casework involving approximately 255 suspects and defendants. The lawyers within the unit work closely with investigators from the earliest stage of the commencement of investigations to ensure that the strongest possible cases can be built, so that those committing these offences are prosecuted. Where the CPS’s legal test is met, they will always prosecute these offenders for the offences they have committed.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.