South Yorkshire police chief faces MP quiz over sex cases

David Crompton
Image caption Mr Crompton will face MPs over the paper's allegations

The chief constable of South Yorkshire is to face MPs about the scale of alleged sexual abuse of young girls in the county.

It comes after The Times said confidential police reports referred to widespread abuse of girls by Asian men.

Chief Constable David Crompton has been summoned to appear before the Commons Home Affairs select committee.

He said: "I will fully assist the Home Affairs select committee in answering any questions they may have."

'Uncover criminality'

Mr Crompton had already been due to face the committee to answer questions over the Hillsborough tragedy.

Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the Home Affairs select committee, told BBC News he wanted answers to the newspaper's claims on abuse.

He said: "The select committee has been conducting an inquiry into grooming for some time, since the first time these revelations were exposed in The Times.

"It would be appropriate for us to have [Mr Crompton] to deal with some of the points that have been raised.

"I had asked David Crompton to come in and talk about the aftermath of Hillsborough and what his force is doing about it.

"Therefore it is appropriate following these revelations that he should also tell us what South Yorkshire police is doing and what appears to be a decision by agencies not to work together to try and uncover this criminality."

The investigation by The Times - with access to confidential documents from the police intelligence bureau, social services and other organisations - alleged widespread abuse.

Force denial

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Media captionA rape victim claims South Yorkshire police failed to protect her.

The newspaper said a confidential 2010 report by the Police Intelligence Bureau detailed "a significant problem with networks of Asian males exploiting young white females, particularly in Rotherham and Sheffield".

The paper claimed that in another confidential report in 2010 from Rotherham Safeguarding Children Board "there are sensitivities of ethnicity with potential to endanger the harmony of community relationships".

South Yorkshire Police has emphatically denied withholding information about the scale of sexual exploitation of girls by gangs of men.

In an earlier statement the force said: "South Yorkshire Police is recognised as leading the way on what is now being recognised nationally as a problem and to suggest that the force and its partners are deliberately withholding information on the issue is a gross distortion and unfair on the teams of dedicated specialists working to tackle the problem."

It said the force was "working with local authorities, social services and NHS on several live investigations, two of which are large and likely to lead to more prosecutions; we will act when we have the evidence".

The statement added that The Times was "wrong to suggest a lack of commitment is shown towards the problem as our record shows".

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