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Man jailed for 23 years for sexually abusing boys in Rotherham

A 51-year-old man has been jailed for 23 years after being convicted of committing 43 sexual offences against boys during the 1980s and 1990s.

Darren Swift, of Lawrence Road in Telford, went on trial in October last year charged with a number of sexual offences.

A jury found Swift guilty of 26 counts of indecent assault, 12 counts of indecency and five counts of buggery after a two-week trial.

Today at Sheffield Crown Court he was jailed for 23 years for the offences.

The offences spanned a 17-year period between 1980 and 1997 in Rotherham, while Swift worked at various local sporting clubs and youth groups.

The charges relate to four boys who were aged between eight and 14 while the abuse took place.

Each victim was subjected to years of abuse by this man who held several positions of trust for various community groups, where he met and effectively groomed these vulnerable young boys for his own sexual gratification. I again pay tribute to the victims who had the courage to come forward and disclose their ordeal to police. Because Swift continually denied his guilt, each victim was forced to relive their traumatic experience in front of a jury, which is further testament to their strength of character. I hope that for the victims, this marks the conclusion of years of torment for them and their families and they can now begin to move forward with their lives knowing their abuser is behind bars. South Yorkshire Police is committed to tackling child sexual abuse and bringing offenders to justice. We would urge anyone who has concerns about a child at risk, or who wishes to report abuse, to come forward and report this dreadful crime.

– Detective Constable Ian Hampshire


South Yorks Police face fresh claims over sex abuse in Sheffield

South Yorkshire Police is facing fresh claims that officers did not properly investigate allegations of sexual abuse in Sheffield.

MPs have called for a probe into the force, which is also under fire for abuse uncovered in Rotherham. It's claimed officers knew hundreds of girls were at risk of sexual exploitation.

The force says it always arrests, investigates and charges offenders if there is enough evidence.

PCC: Details are 'crucial first step' for force to move forward amid more abuse claims

The Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire says finding out more about the past is a "crucial step" in getting the force to a "better place".

Dr Alan Billings was reacting to fresh claims that South Yorkshire Police was aware of, but did not fully investigate, claims that hundreds of children were at risk of sexual exploitation in the city.

This represents further criticism of South Yorkshire Police. I was elected in November to hold the Force to account, but I am not confident that we know everything that should be known about the past – which is the crucial first step for the Force to get itself into a better place. Steps are being taken to address these issues and I recently announced an extra 62 officers for the Public Protection Unit where issues of child abuse are investigated. Since my appointment in November I have spent time with victims, survivors and their families to try to understand their frustrations. I have been listening to their stories and experiences. This is already providing me with information I am communicating to South Yorkshire Police in order to help them address the areas they need to improve. If anyone has any information to help identify perpetrators of child sexual exploitation, or would like to talk about their experiences as an employee of the Force, I would ask them to come forward. They will be listened to and taken seriously.

– Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire PCC

IPPC: Officers have case to answer over death in custody

Two police officers, one of whom brought a puppy to work, have been found to have a case to answer after the death of a man in custody was investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

IPPC: Officers have case to answer over death in custody

Neil Budziszewski, 42, died in a cell at Ecclesfield police station in Sheffield on 3 May 2013. He had been in the custody of South Yorkshire Police from the afternoon of 2 May 2013 and was due to appear before magistrates charged with theft.

Mr Budziszewski, who was alcohol dependent and had taken methadone on the day he was arrested, was found unresponsive in a cell and despite efforts by police officers and a paramedic to save his life was pronounced dead.

The police watchdog examined the circumstances of Mr Budziszewski's arrest, detention and medical care, focusing on the actions of three police officers, two sergeants and an inspector, and two custody detention officers.

Investigators found that Sergeant Nigel Govier and Sergeant Paul Telero had a case to answer for misconduct over issues surrounding risk assessments, custody records, medical assessments and a shift change handover.

Sgt Telero was found to have brought a puppy into the custody suite during his shift, but as there are no existing policies relating to pets at work, was not found to have breached any rules. Investigators described his actions as "unwise and unprofessional".

Sergeant Nigel Govier and Sergeant Paul Telero had a case to answer for misconduct over issues surrounding risk assessments, custody records, medical assessments and a shift change handover.

– IPCC Kathryn Stone OBE


Police appeal after alleged Sheffield rape

Detectives investigating an alleged rape in Sheffield have issued a CCTV image of a man they believe may hold vital information.

Police believe this man could assist with their enquiries into an alleged rape Credit: South Yorkshire Police

At around 8.15am on Saturday 6 December, it is reported that a 29-year-old woman was subjected to a serious sexual assault by an unknown man at a property in the Broomhall area of Sheffield.

Despite extensive enquiries, no arrests have been made.

Officers believe the man pictured could assist with enquiries and are asking anyone with information to get in touch.

Ex-inspector insists senior cops set out to blame fans for Hillsborough disaster

A retired police inspector has denied telling "bare-faced lies" that senior officers set out a strategy to blame drunken, ticketless Liverpool fans for the Hillsborough disaster.

Clive Davis also said Norman Bettison, his superior at the time, invited him to the briefing as an opportunity to get them noticed. Andy Bonner reports.

IPCC has interviewed four South Yorkshire Police officers over Ian Watkins investigation

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has revealed that it's interviewed four officers from South Yorkshire Police as part of its investigation into the force's handling of alleagtions against paedophile rock singer Ian Watkins. The IPCC issued a progress report on its investigation following yesterday's acquittal of Watkins former girlfriend Joanne Mjadzelics, who's from Doncaster, of seven child pornography charges. The IPCC said a sergeant and three constables from South Yorkshire had been interviewed but there are further lines of enquiry to be completed in respect of the force.

Police appeal after man assaulted in Sheffield

Police are appealing for information after a 46-year-old man was reportedly assaulted in Woodland Drive, North Anston, in Sheffield on New Year's Eve evening.

At around 5.30pm, the 46-year-old man is believed to have been in Woodland Drive when he was approached by three people, two men and a woman.

There is reported to have been an altercation resulting in one of the men allegedly pushing the 46-year-old to the ground.

The 46-year-old was taken to hospital where he is in a critical condition.

The three people are believed to be around 18 or 19-years-old.

Officers would like to hear from anyone who may have been in the Woodland Drive area of North Anston around this time yesterday, or who may have information about the incident.

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