Jahangir Akhtar – The investigation that never was

Evidence in Court reignited the debate about reported deal, where an alleged Sexual Abuse  victim was handed over to the Police by her alleged exploiter, Arshad (Ash) Hussain;  in return for his not being prosecuted….. a deal allegedly brokered by the now deceased PC Ali and former Councillor Jahangir Akhtar.

The handover, the victim alleges, was to protect Ash, not her.

In August 2013 this was reported in The Times by Andrew Norfolk. It also printed Jahangir Akhtar’s denial of involvement other than giving the Police the telephone number of Arshad Hussain’s mother.

The allegation was sufficient for the Chief Executive of Rotherham Council, Martin Kimber, to immediately request a Police inquiry. Causing the temporary resignation of Akhtar as Deputy Council leader and Vice-Chairman of the Police and Crime Panel (the main scrutiny body for SYPolice.)

Leaks have told us about Martin Kimber’s role,  the only other information about the inquiry is that a few months later Akhtar was exonerated.

More than that, we did not know…that is maybe until recently In the Rotherham Grooming trial.

A Detective Con Stephanek said he had been ordered to speak to PC Ali about the allegations  and report back to his Chief Inspector. He dates this as August 2013.

DC Stephanek said that Ali and his then shift partner PC Appleby denied knowledge of such a swap; this was confirmed by an absence of anything in PC Ali’s police pocket note book. This latter phrasing by Stephanek is also interesting…as we have heard elsewhere that Ali’s pocket books for this period had gone missing.

What else  is interesting about this evidence?

That DC Stephanik was not asked to, nor did he or another officer, interview the young woman making the allegation, or Andrew Norfolk (the Times journalist reporting the allegations) or formally Jahangir Akhtar himself.

That in response to a request by a major partner of the Police, the un-named Chief Inspector allocated the inquiry to a humble detective constable.

With a brief only to interview two police officers who, if the allegation proved correct would at least have been subject to disciplinary procedures, if not criminal charges.

Meaning that as late as October 2013, when Akhtar’s exoneration was announced, the Police were still intent upon applying a “minimum” level of response to serious CSE allegations.

It would be interesting to know who that Chief Inspector was, and what the Chief Constable knew. Given Akhtar’s SYP scrutiny role, one would expect the Chief Constable to be more than on nodding acquaintance with the inquiry.

Wil Ewart

9 thoughts on “Jahangir Akhtar – The investigation that never was

  1. Perhaps Kimber realised the lack of full and proper investigation into this ‘handover’ and who did / did not do/say what.
    Perhaps that was one of the reasons that Kimber instigated the Jay report – or maybe that should be ‘hopefully’

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  2. Really the focus is on the South Yorkshire Police and how sincere they were when making statements about improving, and learning. Remember by October 2013 the Police failings were becoming becoming apparent.

    A quote from the Casey report….

    Page 127
    “It seemed to Inspectors that police activity was unexpectedly low in response to these issues, and historically has been poor. There has been a flurry of recent action by the police on criminal investigations and prosecutions, which is to be expected given the high level of public scrutiny and the focus afforded by the new Police and Crime Commissioner. However, Inspectors remained concerned that once public scrutiny wanes there is a danger that historic inertia will prevail.”

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  3. In a case as high profile as this one, SYP’s lackadaisical investigation beggars belief!
    Jahangir Akhtar was Deputy Leader of RMBC and the vice-chair of the Police and Crime Panel, after all?
    Seems to have been specifically set up to give deniability to the largest number of SYP Officers, including the Chief Constable, or am I being too cynical?

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  4. The stuff about Akhtar is already well reported, on this site and elsewhere…the new information is from the recent Court appearance of the investigating officer.

    Wil

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  5. A tad awkward to investigate now with one of the two instigators of the handover being, conveniently, dead as a result of a “Road Traffic Accident” !! Wonderful timing on behalf of someone ??

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  6. Pingback: The Year that was 2016 Top twenty | Rotherham Politics

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