Government ‘must step in to pay for Rotherham sex abuse probe’

A Rotherham MP has urged the Government to foot the bill of up to £15 million for the National Crime Agency’s criminal probe into the town’s child sexual exploitation scandal.

Officials from the agency dubbed the British FBI said on Wednesday that their investigation, Operation Stovewood, could last for another three years at a cost of between £3 million and £5 million a year.

The probe into the abuse of 1,400 young girls by gangs of mostly Asian men has identified around 300 potential suspects so far and has 32 officers working on it, though this is set to expand in the coming weeks.

South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner Dr Alan Billings says he is planning to submit an application for special grant funding to the Home Office to reimburse the county’s police force for the costs of the inquiry.

Currently South Yorkshire Police, who asked the NCA to come and carry out the probe last year, are due to pay for the investigation while coping with the challenges of dramatic budget cuts.

Read more