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Head of child abuse panel to meet with MPs

Justice Lowell Goddard Credit: Home Office

The New Zealand judge who is to lead the Independent Panel Inquiry into child sex abuse will appear before the Home Affairs Select Committee today.

Justice Lowell Goddard and her team will investigate the abuse of 1,400 young girls in Rotherham alongside the alleged Westminster VIP paedophile ring.

Home Secretary Theresa May announced the appointment last week and Justice Goddard, a judge of the High Court of New Zealand, will appear at a pre-appointment hearing before the committee today.

The Inquiry will consider whether, and the extent to which, public bodies and other important institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse.

Petition calls for prosecutions over Rotherham child sex scandal

A petition has been launched calling for prosecutions of officers and former councillors over the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal.

London-based Jean Hatchet drew up the petition, which is addressed to Home Secretary Theresa May and South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings, asking them to “begin prosecutions against those at Rotherham Council past and present responsible for covering up widespread child sexual abuse”.

“The Professor Jay report and the recent inquiry into widespread child sexual abuse and the failings of Rotherham Council has resulted in the mass resignation of the cabinet in Rotherham.

“Now we need justice.

“The people responsible for lack of action which has allowed thousands of girls in Rotherham to be groomed and raped cannot simply resign and escape.

“Shaun Wright, Jahangir Akhtar and others including Martin Kimber, Roger Stone and Joyce Thacker must be properly investigated and prosecuted if found guilty of offences.

“This needs to happen urgently so that survivors see justice.”

– Jean Hatchet

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MP speaks out over £1m policing costs for Rotherham rallies

South Yorkshire Police revealed today that the cost of policing protest rallies in the town is expected to rise above a million pounds. Seven people were arrested as 1,000 members of the EDL marched in response to the town's child abuse scandal. Rotherham MP Sarah Champion says policing such events should be nationally funded.

Policing Rotherham rallies cost over £1m

The cost of policing protest rallies in Rotherham at the weekend was in excess of £1m, South Yorkshire Police have revealed.

Seven people were charged after a thousand members of the English Defence League demonstrated in response to the town's child abuse scandal. A counter demonstration also took place. Around 15 hundred officers were needed to police the march.

Seven charged after Rotherham protests

Seven people have been charged following protests in Rotherham town centre yesterday.

There were clashes when around 1,000 people from various groups, including the English Defence League, marched through the town.

12 people were arrested. Seven of them have been charged for a variety of offences including criminal damage, assaulting a police officer, and racially-aggravated public order.

Three men who were arrested in Wickersley before the protests on suspicion of going equipped to commit crime have been released on bail. One other Middlesborough man has been bailed for assault.

Around 1,500 police officers were drafted in to police the event and to ensure the safety of local residents and those taking part in the protests.

Arrest as Rotherham mosque attacked

A glass door has been smashed at a Rotherham mosque during a day of protests in the wake of the child sex exploitation scandal.

South Yorkshire Police say 10 people have been arrested during the day, including a 20-year-old man from Mexborough who has been questioned on suspicion of damage to a mosque.

An 18-year-old man from Rotherham has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting an officer. A 34-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman from Rotherham were arrested on suspicion of causing racially and religiously aggravated fear, alarm and distress.

Three men from Newark, Cambridge and Nottingham were arrested from a vehicle in the Wickersley area on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon. A 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of threatening behaviour. A 25-year-old man from Wigan has been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence. And a 40-year-old man from Middlesborough has been arrested on suspicion of assault.

Police say two 26-year-old men received injuries believed to be minor and were taken to hospital. Senior officers say around 1,000 people from various groups walked through the town. They say there were "sporadic outbreaks of disorder."

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Four arrests during protests in Rotherham

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