Rotherham youth worker told she was 'rocking the multicultural boat' by police

Jayne Senior said she was warned about 'rocking the multicultural boat'

A former youth worker has told a police misconduct hearing that she was warned about "rocking the multicultural boat" when she raised concerns about child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

Jayne Senior, who ran the Risky Business youth project in Rotherham between 1999 and 2011, was giving evidence at a hearing into the conduct of former detective sergeant David Walker.

Mr Walker is accused of failing to act on some of the information she supplied to him about widespread grooming – largely carried out by gangs of men of Pakistani heritage.

Ms Senior said she passed on thousands of pieces of intelligence to police. She described her "frustration and horror" at how so much of the intelligence she had gathered was not progressed.

She said that at one meeting she was told: "I was going against perpetrators' human rights, I was rocking the multicultural boat, I was being racist."

Ms Senior told the tribunal: "I was given lots of reasons to stop passing intelligence."

But she agreed that this was not said to her by Mr Walker, who is accused of failing to investigate information that teenage sisters were having sex with workers from a car wash and that a council youth worker was passing on the names of vulnerable girls to potential sex offenders.

'We were constantly told by the next new face that something would be done'

Ms Senior explained how she had passed on thousands of pieces of information over a period of more than a decade.

She said on one occasion Mr Walker, who was in charge of the Rotherham Child Abuse Investigation Unit between 2008 and 2012, said to her: "How am I supposed to do anything with that, it's not evidence?"

The former youth worker agreed that some of the information was too vague to be of any use in itself but she told the panel meeting in Sheffield: "It was a jigsaw. We may have one bit of information and another organisation might have another or another. We put that jigsaw together, as we did on a number of occasions."

Ms Senior said: "We were constantly being told by the next new face that something would be done, somebody would listen, somebody would help this horror to be stopped."

Ms Senior admitted that she used a piece of information about alleged drug dealing to test whether Mr Walker was passing on intelligence.

But she denied being focused on him, saying she had made complaints against more than 30 officers in relation to the Rotherham scandal.

Mr Walker, who has now left South Yorkshire Police, denies all the misconduct allegations outlined against him which also involve claims that he failed to record concerns made in a series of emails from Ms Senior.

These include information that a teenage girl had been raped by a man in the presence of an accomplice, that one suspect threatened young girls with a gun he carried in his car and that a man who had been arrested for sex offences was encouraging girls as young as 10 to visit his home.

Mr Walker is one of 47 officers and former officers who were investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in the wake of the Jay Report, in 2014, which described how at least 1,400 children in the town had been subjected to grooming and abuse by gangs of men between 1997 and 2013.

A full report on the findings of the IOPC's investigation is expected to be published following the conclusion of this hearing next month.