In response to the HMIC report published today, (21 July 2015) Dr Alan Billings said:
“This report paints a mixed picture. This should not surprise us because it comes at a particular moment in time. The initial inspection was in May last year.
But it was overtaken by the Jay report which came out in August. That changed everything. For the first time the full extent of child sexual exploitation was revealed. Since then South Yorkshire Police have had to look at every area of their practice, past and present.
“The report shows the force where they have made progress but more particularly where improvements still have to be made. Part of my task will be to ensure that what is recommended is implemented.
“Since the follow-up inspection on which this report is based there has been further progress.
“We have begun to see perpetrators arrested and charged. Prosecutions will follow later this year.
“We are also having better partnership arrangements. Police officers and social workers are being located together in the same buildings across the four district authorities. The Rotherham Children’s Commissioner has said this is working well there.
“I have put extra resources into work with vulnerable people, including victims of CSE.
“I set up a Victims, Survivors and their Families panel. This month they met with police officers for the first time so that the force can hear directly from them about their experiences. This will enable the police to learn how to improve their response to victims, so they are treated with sensitivity and respect.
“I recently announced the Drew Review. Professor John Drew will be looking across the whole of South Yorkshire – Barnsley, Doncaster and Sheffield as well as Rotherham – to assure me that South Yorkshire Police are doing everything that can be done in each of the districts.”