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Vaz: IPCC should move to South Yorkshire after officer referrals

The Independent Police Complaints Commission should move its headquarters to South Yorkshire, according to Home Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz.

Today the force referred 14 of its officers to the police watchdog over the recent child abuse scandal in Rotherham.

Mr Vaz said people needed to know policing is being handled properly in the county:

14 face IPCC referral over Rotherham

The former Police and Crime commissioner for South Yorkshire, could face criminal charges as part of a two pronged investigation into the failings during the Rotherham child abuse scandal.

Shaun Wright, who was in charge of children's services for the council for five of the crucial years outlined in the Jay report, is likely to be investigated for possible misconduct in public office, according to South Yorkshire's chief constable David Crompton.

He has written to the Home Affairs Select committee outlining his plans for further inquiries. The force has this afternoon confirmed that 14 of it's staff have now been referred to the police watchdog, the IPCC, for their conduct in Rotherham.

South Yorkshire Police has now referred 14 people to the IPCC and may make further referrals should the criteria be met. Both South Yorkshire Police and the independent investigation will remain in constant dialogue with the IPCC.

– Joanne Wright, Senior Media Relations Officer


Hull MP urges abuse inquiry team to meet survivors

Hull MP Diana Johnson says the Government's handling of inquiries into child abuse has been "chaotic and confused" and has urged Fiona Woolf and Home Secretary Theresa May to meet survivors groups.

Hull MP urges abuse inquiry team to meet survivors Credit: Press Association

We have said right from the start that anyone chairing this inquiry should have the full support of the survivors of abuse – both Fiona Woolf and Theresa May should meet survivors groups immediately to address their concerns. The Home Secretary and Tory-led Government’s handling of this has been chaotic and confused from the start. Nobody wants further delays to this important work, but Theresa May must now move quickly to demonstrate that both the process behind the inquiry and the person appointed to lead it have support from the majority of survivors – otherwise the inquiry will fail before it even starts.

– Diana Johnson MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Office Minister,

Rotherham Council set to appoint interim Chief Executive

Rotherham council is expected to rubber stamp the appointment of Jan Ormondroyd as its new chief executive today following the child sex abuse scandal.

Jan Ormondroyd is to be appointed interim Chief Executive of Rotherham Council

She'll be the temporary replacement for Martin Kimber, who's to step down after sharp criticism of the council.

Fiona Woolf grilled by Home Affairs Committee over abuse report

Rotherham gets spooky for Halloween

Boston Castle and Thrybergh Country Park in Rotherham are hosting events for Halloween next week.

Boston Castle will be decorated as a 'spooky' castle Credit: Press Association

The historic castle will be decorated as a 'spooky castle' and hold events such as candle-making on Wednesday 29 October.

Our Halloween events are always very popular with the young spirits and spectres who attend them and they have become something of a tradition for many families who use them to get their fun underway at this time of year.

Boston Castle is the perfect place to host a spooky event. Despite its recent renovation, it has hundreds of years of history in its walls and when the staff have finished putting the spooky decorations up, it'll be the perfect creepy castle.

Similarly with the beautiful Thrybergh Country Park. Come Halloween, once the staff have finished their work, it’s transformed into a ghastly green space full of terrifying treats and spooky scares.

We hope as many little ghosts and bats get dressed up and join us for these two fantastic events as possible

– Karl Battersby, Strategic Director for Environment and Development Services


Home Affairs Committee to discuss Rotherham abuse scandal

The Home Affairs Committee will take evidence on historical child abuse today.

Keith Vaz MP Credit: Press Association

Among those giving evidence will be Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf, who chaired an independent inquiry into the issue.

The Committee, chaired by Keith Vaz MP, will be looking to find out exactly who knew about the abuse after 1400 cases were identified in a report.

Rotherham: "we mustn't forget that the criminals are the perpetrators"

A campaign group which has passed on damning evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee, Parents Against Sexual Exploitation or PACE say they were ignored for many years by both Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police when they tried to tell them about the abuse that was going on in Rotherham.

Worse still, a key report which had been produced by a Home Office researcher went missing before it was presented to councillors some years ago.

Understandably, the Select Committee wants answers and says the public will look upon this as a deliberate cover-up.

Now - PACE are saying they have named names - and it's not just those people who've already resigned like the Police Commissioner Shaun Wright or Rotherham Council's head of children's services Joyce Thacker.

PACE said today we should never lose sight of what that report was about.

Keith Vaz calls for Thacker to repay £40,000 Rotherham payoff

Keith Vaz has called on former strategic director of children's services Joyce Thacker, who quit following the Rotherham child exploitation scandal, to repay her £40,000 payoff.

Mrs Thacker was criticized for 'inaction' over cases of at least 1,400 children who had been exploited Credit: Press Association

Rotherham Borough Council disclosed the payment to Mrs Thacker in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

The council said it had reached a mutual agreement with Mrs Thacker on the termination of her contract and the sum was "less than the contractual notice requirement".

Keith Vaz, the chairman of an influential Commons committee that has looked into the Rotherham scandal, said he was "astounded" by the deal and called for the money to be repaid.

The scale of the abuse in Rotherham was revealed in August this year when Professor Alexis Jay published a report which outlined how at least 1,400 children had been sexually exploited between 1997 and 2003 and questioned why highly placed public figures had not tackled the problem.

I am astounded that taxpayers' money has been used in what will be seen as a reward for the failures of Rotherham Council.

The committee recommended Joyce Thacker, and others, resign for their inaction in light of the huge number of child sexual abuse cases. It was inappropriate of her to accept such a large sum when she left.

I hope action will be taken to ensure that this money is repaid, and that large pay offs cannot be given under similar circumstances in the future.

– Keith Vaz, Chairman of select committee investigating Rotherham

News of the deal with Mrs Thacker came as Mr Vaz's committee called for an urgent investigation into whether public officials sought to cover upthe extent of the scandal.

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