The inquiry into the Rotherham sex grooming scandal is expected to run for at least eight years – at a cost of £30 million.
In total, 10,000 leads are being pursued in the criminal case where chil- dren as young as twelve were targeted over a period of 16 years against over 1,000 vulnerable girls.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) operation is currently focusing on 29 men suspected of at least 91 serious sex offences against 82 victims.
An investigation into the wide- spread abuse showed that “almost all” the identified abusers were from the Pakistani community who preyed upon mostly white teenage girls.
In the past year, safeguarding referrals have been issued in respect of 240 children in Rotherham with continuing access to suspected offenders. No arrests have been made, bringing concerns that the inquiry is progressing too slowly. The NCA inquiry is expected to last at least six years, with a further two years for criminal trials.
Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, said: “The priority of Rotherham’s victims and survivors is to get these perpetrators off the streets and to make sure they are not grooming or abusing any other children.
“They want them locked up. The police need to work a lot faster as this whole process is taking too long. Mul- tiple safeguarding referrals suggest there are men out there still consid- ered a risk to children. The NCA must not beover-cautious.
If there’s evi- dence, people need to be arrested.”