A review into the accountability of officers in public office
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My pseudonym name is Elizabeth, I am a historical victim of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham South Yorkshire. During the period that I was abused and trafficked as a child I was constantly informed by those whose professional role was to protect me, was that they did not believe me or my family.
In 2014 Professor Alexis Jay published her independent report into the scale of Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham for the period 1997 to 2013, this report not only gave evidence to the scale of the issue but exonerated not only myself but hundreds of other children who had been ignored and not believed.
In 2015 Dame Louise Casey CBE, published her Government report which evidenced that elected members and professionals within the Local Authority and Police Force had failed in the roles they held in public office.
In 2017 RMBC commissioned an independent report into whether any senior professional could be held accountable for failing in their statutory duty to protect us as children and not use the significant amount of evidence that was available during that period and work in partnership with South Yorkshire Police to bring those adults who were harming us to justice.
I was shocked by the findings as a number of others were that this report not only found fault but that a significant amount of key people refused to be interviewed.
Section 115 of the Local Government Act 1972 states that there is accountability for officers during their service and for 3 months after their employment ceases but this is limited to financial matters.
I am calling on the Government to review and amend this legislation and ensure that accountability of not dealing with issues of child abuse is placed higher than the issue of financial matters.
I further state that accountability should be amended with no time limitation and should those who have ever held posts in public office refuse to assist in investigations should be made a criminal offence.
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