Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.
Details of Incident
APPEAL FOR INFORMATION FROM THE ROTHERHAM COMMUNITY
Operation Stovewood is the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) independent investigation into allegations of child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. The allegations relate to abuse that took place in the community rather than within families and is being conducted by the NCA on behalf of South Yorkshire Police.
It is the largest CSEA investigation in the UK, complex in its nature and scale, and is being led by Senior Investigating Officer Paul Williamson.
Group-based CSEA accounts for a small percentage of the overall CSEA threat, but is of high impact and public interest. Professor Alexis Jay’s independent inquiry detailed that at least 1,400 children had been subjected to serious sexual abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. As investigations gather pace, our analysis puts the potential number of victim and survivors at 1,510.
There are more than 140 officers involved in the investigation, all of whom are based in various locations across South Yorkshire. They are actively engaging with more than 260 victims and survivors, and our specialist investigation engagement officers work with victims and survivors to offer support whilst they give their accounts.
Working with partners and in particular the Barnsley Rape Crisis Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVA) service, we ensure vulnerable victims and survivors get the support required throughout what can be a very traumatic experience.
Sexual violence and abuse can take many forms and affects all communities and we encourage all victims to come forward and tell us about what happened to them in the knowledge they will be listened to, they will be taken seriously and their needs will be supported throughout.
We acknowledge that there is probably more information held by individuals in the community that can assist with our investigation, which is why we have created this new portal.
It allows (for the first time) a direct channel for victims and survivors, as well as members of the local community in Rotherham, to share information with the investigations team. Officers are particularly interested in any information about:
Networks and groups/ gangs involved in CSEA in Rotherham between 1997-2013
Witnesses who can assist officers
Incident ‘hot spots’ and locations for CSEA in Rotherham 1997-2013
The trafficking of children to and from Rotherham to other towns and cities for sexual exploitation;
Importantly, members of the public who have information to share can either do so anonymously or leave contact details so officers can get in touch. It can be a long and sometimes difficult process, but it is essential as we endeavour to hold offenders to account and bring them to justice.
Victims and survivors can also speak with a professional (such as a GP, voluntary worker, social worker or housing officer) and ask them to assist with making a referral to the NCA’s OP Stovewood team.
Alternatively, contact with the Operation Stovewood team can be made via the NCA’s control centre on 0370 496 7622 or by writing to Operation Stovewood, National Crime Agency, PO Box 58340, London, NW1W 9JD.