Our thoughts on the IOPC report on South Yorkshire Police

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has published its Operation Linden report – a detailed analysis of South Yorkshire Police’s handling of non-recent child sexual abuse allegations between 1997 and 2013.

What did the report find?

Whilst acknowledging the significant changes and improvements that had been made since 2013, the IOPC report found clear failures by South Yorkshire Police which, during the 16 years that the Operation Linden report examined, was insufficiently prepared to deal with the nature and scale of organised abused and exploitation of children and young people happening in Rotherham.

  • The Operation Linden report comprises findings from 93 investigations to date, 92 of which are concluded.
  • They cover 265 separate allegations made by 51 complainants, 44 of whom were survivors of abuse and exploitation.
  • Operation Linden investigated the conduct of 47 officers. Eight of these were found to have a case to answer for misconduct and six had a case to answer for gross misconduct.
  • The report shows how the South Yorkshire Police failed to protect vulnerable children and young people. Like other agencies in Rotherham at that time, it was not equipped to deal with the abuse and organised grooming of young girls on such a large scale.


What does the report recommend?

The IOPC issued 13 statutory recommendations to organisations including South Yorkshire Police and the College of Policing based on the findings of Operation Linden. These focus primarily on the need for regular, specialised training, further incorporating voices of survivors into their internal training and improving communication with survivors. The full list of recommendations can be found here.


What do we have to say?

“NAPAC welcomes this report, and the recommendations it makes to improve policing practice on behalf of survivors. We know that South Yorkshire Police has done a lot of work to improve how it investigates child sexual exploitation, and has become much more trauma-informed and victim-focused.

This report acknowledges the systemic past failings within South Yorkshire Police and highlights how these systemic issues are now being addressed. We are also encouraged that the recommendations focus on further incorporating the voices of survivors into training practice – we learn so much from survivors through our support services and encourage others to do the same.”

Gabrielle Shaw, Chief Executive, NAPAC

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