Rotherham child exploitation probe involves 'hundreds of potential suspects'


The investigation into large-scale child sexual exploitation in Rotherham now involves 29 "designated suspects" and hundreds more "potential suspects", according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The NCA said its investigators have made contact with 82 victims and survivors from the South Yorkshire town, since it was brought in following the 2014 Jay Report.

Professor Alexis Jay's report shocked the nation when it detailed how 1,400 children had been raped, trafficked and attacked in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 by gangs of largely Asian men.

Today, the NCA acknowledged that the 82 victims it had contacted represented only around 5% of the potential number of victims and stressed the painstaking and delicate nature of its ongoing inquiry, called Operation Stovewood.

The agency was giving its first update on Operation Stovewood since June last year when officers said they were looking at around 300 potential suspects.