• Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

Sexual abusers will be ‘rooted out’ of South Yorkshire Police, chief constable vows

BySwanzi010

Nov 14, 2022

The chief constable of South Yorkshire Police has promised to “root out” sexual abusers from the force after meeting a woman who claimed in a Sky News interview she was raped by a police officer as a child. 

Chief Constable Lauren Poultney commended Leona Whitworth’s bravery for speaking out and said her counter-corruption officers would now work privately with Leona to pursue the case.

Leona waived her anonymity to tell her story and says she’s now confident the police will investigate what happened to her over a decade ago.

Aged 13, she was preyed on by a woman called Amanda Spencer, who was later jailed in 2014 for grooming vulnerable teenagers and then selling them to a gang of child abusers. One of Leona’s abusers was also jailed.

Amanda Spencer, who was jailed in 2014 for grooming vulnerable teenagers and then selling them to a gang of child abusers
Image:
Amanda Spencer

However, Leona said recently in a Sky News interview, one of the men she was sold to was a police officer who, at a later date, picked her up in his patrol car when she’d gone missing.

She hadn’t reported this at the time, thinking she wouldn’t be believed.

Read Leona’s story:
“I tried to pretend it wasn’t real… nobody would have believed me”

At a neutral location, Leona spoke to the chief constable and then privately gave details to a counter corruption officer.

Afterwards, Leona told Sky News: “The police constable seems like quite a nice lady, and she seems to be driven. Which is something I’ve not seen before – maybe because she’s a woman.

“For them to actually believe and want to help, that’s weird. It’s new and a little bit overwhelming.”

Leona Whitworth
Image:
Leona: ‘These situations make you feel like you are the loneliest person in the world’

‘No place in policing’

Chief Constable Lauren Poultney told Sky News, combating violence against women was a local and national priority and with sexual predators within the police force the challenge was to “identify the early warning signs and take a more robust approach”.

Chief Constable Lauren Poultney of South Yorkshire Police
Image:
Chief Constable Lauren Poultney

She added: “I chair the national counter corruption advisory group, and one of our key work streams is sexual misconduct and sexual offending by police officers.

“There is a group that is committed to bringing this into sharp focus across the country to identify those police who are perpetrating sexual offences while police officers and ensuring that they are rooted out of policing.

“There is no place in policing for people who commit sexual offences.”

Lost, afraid, scared, alone

Earlier this month, a police inspectorate report found senior officers in forces across the UK had failed to tackle predatory officers and needed to improve their vetting procedures for those entering the force

Leona doesn’t want to revive the memories of her abuse, but says she’s doing it for those children out there somewhere who are still suffering.

She said: “Right now there will be kids that are lost, afraid, scared, alone. They will not see any way out.

“These situations make you feel like you are the loneliest person in the world – and you shouldn’t. You are not on your own, I promise you.”

Source : BBC News

Share with your friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Get The Latest News
Straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

x Logo: Shield Security
This Site Is Protected By
Shield Security