Former Police and Crime Commissioner cleared of lying on oath over child sexual exploitation scandal in Rotherham

Shaun Wright
Shaun Wright

South Yorkshire’s former Police and Crime Commissioner has been cleared of lying on oath to MPs over the child sexual exploitation scandal in Rotherham.

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The Independent Office for Police Conduct investigated allegations that Shaun Wright committed perjury when giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on September 9, 2014, when he was South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

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The watchdog found no evidence of a crime having been committed and has announced today that it will not make a referral to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
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It was alleged by two complainants that Mr Wright committed perjury and the IOPC was asked to investigate by both South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Police’s Police and Crime Panel.

Mr Wright gave evidence, under oath, regarding his knowledge of allegations of widespread child sexual abuse Rotherham after it emerged that 1,400 Rotherham children had been sexually abused by men of predominantly Pakistani heritage while those in authority turned a blind eye.

It was claimed that he wrongly denied having a lack of knowledge of the scale of the exploitation in Rotherham during his time as cabinet member for children’s services at Rotherham Council, between 2005 and 2010. 

The police watchdog said its investigation included a ‘thorough review of the transcripts from the HASC meeting’ and included interviews with Mr Wright and a ‘key independent witness’.

The watchdog also reviewed documents concerning child sexual exploitation in the town, which Mr Wright was alleged to have received during his time at the council. 

Sarah Green, the IOPC’s regional director who oversaw this investigation, said: “We have now concluded our detailed investigation into the very serious allegation that Shaun Wright committed perjury when he gave evidence to HASC in 2014. 

“I have given this matter very careful consideration and, on the basis of the evidence we have gathered, I have determined that the report does not indicate that a criminal offence may have been committed. Therefore, we will not refer the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider whether any criminal charges should be brought.”

The investigation started in June 2017 and was completed in August 2018