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DS in Rotherham allegedly “failed to investigate abuse claims”

Former Detective Sergeant David Walker failed to investigate information that teenage sisters were having sex with workers at a car wash, a misconduct hearing has heard.

A former South Yorkshire DS is facing a misconduct hearing over allegations that he failed to adequately investigate information relating to the Rotherham child sexual exploitation (CSE) scandal. 

DS David Walker was in charge of the unit tasked with investigation child abuse in Rotherham between 2008 and 2012. He was one of 47 officers and former officers who were investigated by the IOPC's Operation Linden inquiry following the scandal. He denies all the allegations against him.

Of the 47, eight have been found to have a case to answer for misconduct and six for gross misconduct.

Five faced sanctions from management action through to final written warning, with former DS Walker’s case the last outstanding misconduct hearing.

Most of the officers had retired and due to legislation in place at the time could not face disciplinary action. 

It is alleged DS Walker also neglected to investigate information that a council youth worker was passing on names of vulnerable girls to potential sex offenders.

The third allegation is that he failed to record concerns made via email from Jayne Senior who ran the Risky Business youth project.

Ms Senior’s emails detailed information that a teenage girl had been raped by a male with an accomplice, that one suspect threatened girls with a gun, and that a man who had previously been arrested for sexual offences was encouraging girls as young as 10 to visit his home.

Daniel Hobbs opened the case by telling the misconduct panel that the Detective Sergeant had been informed by a neighbourhood officer that a mother had raised concerns about her two daughters having sex with adult males working at a car wash.

Mr Hobbs said that Detective Sergeant Walker “did nothing with this information”, explaining that he neither recorded the information nor made further inquiries despite later becoming aware of the vulnerability of the girls.

Of the information passed on from Risky Business, Mr Hobbs said : “Det Sgt Walker did nothing at all in respect of this information and simply left any safeguarding actions arising to social services.”

The misconduct hearing, in South Yorkshire, has now been adjourned to March 21.

Last November, the IOPC said that it was “deeply concerned” that problems remain around South Yorkshire’s response to child sexual exploitation and that there had been a “deterioration” since improvements were made in 2015/16.

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