Where’s accountability over Shaun Wright, Rotherham child care, police apology 3 years late?

I never expected, having called for bankers, doctors, business executives, MPs, police, media to be held to account for serious wrongdoing by sacking and/or prison in the worst cases (my website 23 August), that the imperative for such accountability would be so quickly manifested.   On 26 August Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, was finally forced to apologise, three and a half years late, that one of his officers sprayed CS gas at close range into the faces of campaigners protesting against tax avoidance by Boots in Oxford Street, causing (as he admitted) intense pain, fear and panic.   For years the Met. failed to properly investigate this incident in January 2011 involving the use of CS gas in a very crowded area in central London, and were only forced to respond when the protesters, UKUncut, finally sued the police in court.   The deficit in accountability is stark.   An apology wrung out of the Police Commissioner over 3 years late is wholly inadequate.   Why wasn’t an investigation immediately undertaken and a full written apology made and compensation paid to each of the protesters sprayed?   And why wasn’t the policeman concerned immediately dismissed from the service and disqualified from any police service in future?

Then on 28 August another example of blatant police non-accountability.   Shaun Wright, South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner, refused to resign after being accused of failing to act on warnings of widespread sexual abuse of children when he was responsible for children and young people’s services at Rotherham council from 2005 to 2010.   The Home Secretary said she had no powers to force him out – another clear admission of how police personnel and senior councillors are immune from any real accountability.   It is almost incredible that those who turned a blind eye to child rape and exploitation can escape with impunity.   Once again it is being left to the victims to launch a class action in the courts against Rotherham council and South Yorkshire police.

The report by Professor Alexis Jay highlighted sexual abuse of children in Rotherham over a 16-year period from 1997, involving a conservative estimate of 1,400 victims.   They endured a prolonged nightmare of gang rape, trafficking and abduction, and were forced to watch extreme brutality.   Yet a third of them wer already known to the child protection services.   Last year there were 153 cases, yet after the initial conviction of 9 perpetrators in 2010 which clearly did not halt the abuse, there have been no further prosecutions.   Why not?   Why haven’t the police officers who turned a blind eye for years not been sacked, as well as senior members of Rotherham’s child care services guilty of gross misconduct in the line of duty, and where appropriate prosecuted?   A review of powers to secure accountability in all public services is urgently needed.

3 thoughts on “Where’s accountability over Shaun Wright, Rotherham child care, police apology 3 years late?

  1. What about dereliction of duty among senior Ministers of the Crown? The bulk of these offences happened on Labour’s watch. During that time Ed Balls was Minister for Families and Harriet Harman was Minister for Women. Ed Balls once said, about a case in Plymouth, “This is a deeply distressing and disturbing case. It is vital we find out how an adult could abuse their position of trust in such an evil way and we must do everything we can to prevent this kind of abuse happening again”. But he did nothing. Harman did nothing to halt FGM whilst she was Minister for Women.

  2. The Trojan House events in Birmingham, where a Labour controlled council, were negligent about or even complicit in an organised attempt to high-jack the state education system to promote and inculcate, (by the government’s own definition, ) religious extremism and bigotry in children as young as 7.

    Rochdale and now Rotherham, where brutal acts of violence and abuse against young children were tacitly condoned and arguably abated by other Labour controlled councils and the services, the police and social services, for which they are responsible and for which they have oversight.

    Mid Staffs where under several Labour Secretaries of State for Health perhaps as many as 1200 NHS patients died needles, humiliating and needless deaths attributed to a rank culture of mismanagement and staff indifference, negligence and abuse.

    In every case this was enforced ruthlessly by a culture of, collective responsibility, (no one was really to blame, “lessons’ have been learned,” etc,) under which anyone who attempted to express thier concern about what was really happening was immediately threatened, (occasionally physically,) with loss of their job, their career, even their livelihood and probably prosecution as well.

    Is this what a vote for Labour will really be a vote for?

    Judging from Milliband’s and his cronies complete silence about all this and thier obvious indeffence, verging on boredom, to these issues the answer is yes.

  3. Whilst we’re on the topic of the Police, (often and happily still unarmed,) today’s headline shows them tackling yet another dangerous and homicidal nutter.

    Yes we slag them off, (too easily and too lightly,) and nothing they can do is ever quite right or good enough, particularly when they’ve lost patience after a long and trying day, or simply been clumsy, with some spoiled middle class prat protesting, (for what little that’s even worth, post Blair) about nothing very much.

    I’ve seen the British police at their very worst, (my support for them is neither blind nor wholly unconditional, I’m basically a realist,) but they’re still far better than any of the and at their very best alternatives, (again look at armed police militias in the states,) and to conflate yet another grubby low life politician such as Shaun Wright, with a police officer is shabby in the extreme.

    As I pointed out above some when daft kid gets gassed, all hell lets loose, when 1200 NHS patients are killed under Labour the silence is almost complete.

    Something is very wrong indeed in the state of Denmark and it isn’t just the police.

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