Rotherham, a scary place where the Police can no longer be trusted

“South Yorkshire Police(SYP) appear to have colluded in an outrageous programme of misinformation aimed at supporting an individual politician, Jahangir Akhtar.

They are quoted as saying “[SYP]has now completed the inquiry and found no evidence to substantiate the claims”. The claims being those made in a series of articles by Andrew Norfolk in The Times.

I have corresponded with Andrew who states:

“We [The Times] stand by every word published in those articles, which reported, in relation to Mr Akhtar, his role in March 2000 in the recovery of a sexually exploited child [referred to as Jessica.] She was 14, pregnant, missing from home and in the company of a violent convicted offender, Arshid Hussain, who was suspected of grooming and using numerous underage Rotherham girls for sex. Hussain was a relative of Mr Akhtar.

We reported that an extraordinary deal was agreed under which Hussain agreed to hand the girl to the police at a petrol station after receiving an assurance that he would not be detained, and that Mr Akhtar was involved in the discussions that led to this deal”.

“Mr Akhtar, in a face-to-face interview with The Times, actually ADMITTED the “allegations” that have apparently been found to have “no evidence to substantiate them”.

In the interview with Andrew the only matter disputed by Akhtar was an assertion by the young women that he was in the immediate vicinity of the petrol station when the handover took place. To ensure fairness The Times in their article repeated and gave prominence to Akhtar’s denial.

Andrew Norfolk was not interviewed by Police in connection with this latest investigation save being asked whether he had a “a legally-admissible shorthand note of what Akhtar admitted to him during the face-to-face meeting” Of course he had such a note, as otherwise the Time’s solicitor would not have sanctioned printing the story. NB Just as with the Police, a journalist’s notes are accepted in court, so they were testing the strength of his evidence.

SYP did not have to undertake this investigation, regardless of who requested it.

They could simply have said there was not an accusation of criminal behaviour & left it at that. If pressed could they have added that they are currently undertaking a wider investigation into child sex grooming that includes the case of Jessica.

And here is why Rotherham is a scarier place. By stating they “found no evidence to substantiate the [in the Times] claims” SYP have pre-empted the results of their own wider enquiry, and in effect found against Jessica who made some of those claims.

In compiling an unnecessary & thoroughly misleading press release they have thrown away their own processes in order to provide comfort to one politician.

And have been active in a process of disinformation that is partial, corrupted and politicised.

There is a smell, that I am sure many Police Officers will be ashamed of.”

Wil Ewart

16 thoughts on “Rotherham, a scary place where the Police can no longer be trusted

  1. Well said Wil. I wonder if the Advertiser would print this? The facts speak for themselves in this story and they are truly worrying indeed. The sad fact is that every time the advertiser, Star et al act as the mouthpiece for these people they are repeating the accusations that victims are somehow unimportant, not to be believed or making things up! These are the very attitudes that led to such unforgivable inaction in the past!

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  2. Will, unfortunately I do not agree with you comment that “SYP did not have to undertake this investigation, regardless of who requested it.” It would have been impossible for Chief Superintendent Harwin to ignore the letter from Cllr. Vines. Had he done so, there would have been an even bigger outcry. BUT, I do agree, there is a smell and a very nasty one at that which I believe should be investigated by the IPCC. This so called investigation into a non-allegation should be looked into by them.

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    • Sorry Anonymous, but in the real world Cavan simply isn’t that important. Think about Keith Vaz & the Home Affairs Select Committee who seriously criticised SYP & the Council , yet despite being much more important than Caven they barely caused a ripple.
      No, this is more sinister, and I will recount some facts.
      1. The SYP attempted to stop the Times article being published on the grounds that it would jeopardise an ongoing investigation that included the Jessica case & doing precisely what they criticised Andrew Norfolk for.
      2. They have now concluded that the allegations in the Times are unfounded I.e. Jessica’s evidence is unfounded. Thereby discrediting Jessica.
      Now think about any future prosecution of the abuser Ash. What is his Solicitor going to say about her evidence? I’ll spell it out; the Police have already decided upon the value of her testimony by stating that she has made unproven allegations.
      The other point to remember is that when investigating Akhtar on this matter they were de facto investigating themselves. After all they were in the end responsible for the trade off and the decision not to prosecute.
      The scary bits include:

      1. SYP management surely can’t be unaware that they should not be deemed competent to investigate a case where they themselves are implicated in allowing a perpetrator to go free?

      2. Despite this they went ahead & publicised a conclusion that jeopardised an ongoing inquiry and potentially undermined a future trial.

      I believe this was all mapped out in advance as a method to get them all off the hook.

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  3. A deeply disturbing revelation that South Yorkshire Police failed to interview Andrew Norfolk, disturbing in terms that it suggests a less than thorough investigation, lazy policing or at worst a prevailing culture within SYP that the public are to be treated like plebs and will believe anything they are told.

    Chief Constable Crompton presides over a force that seems to be able to continue in practices that go back to Hillsborough and Orgreave, short cuts, any old rubbish will do.

    So why did they not interview Andrew Norfolk?

    They would get a wider view of the issues and this would not sit well with the intended outcome.
    It would give them more work.
    It could widen the investigation into other areas.

    Could someone remind me, who said they had fixed the police?
    This revelation stinks and should be looked at by the IPCC!

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  4. One of the most concerning aspects is that Akhtar believes he acts with impunity and will not pay for any of his wrongdoing.
    I have learned it is we nigh impossible to make any formal complaint to the police against any of the Rotherham councillors and Akhtar seems to believe the Rotherham Police are simply there to do his bidding! A private Police Force as far as he is concerned then.

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  7. Tragically, Rotherham will continue to be a scary place as long as certain Senior Police Officers and long-standing Councillors continue to remain stubbornly in post.

    Those responsible for turning a blind eye to the gangs of child rapists roaming the streets aided by the taxi-drivers/takeaways are absolutely a part of the problem. They must be cleared away so that solutions can be properly implemented and trust in local authorities can be restored. That trust may take years, if not decades, to earn again after the amount of damage done.

    As can be seen by the interviews with those involved by the Home Office Select Committee and the unedifying behaviour of many Senior Cllrs at today’s Council Meeting webcast, many of the local “great and good” are apparently inherently amnesiacs, “unable to recall” any actual details when asked.

    Convenient memory-loss and buck-passing skills are neither sufficient or appropriate when a lack of child safety of such magnitude has occurred.

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  8. The truth has a habit of leaking out however much the perpetrators of evil try to cover their tracks. Let’s hope that the constant chipping away of the layers of corruption, will ultimately uncover the whole sordid, sorry history that the guilty will doubtless continue to do their utmost to conceal.

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