West Yorkshire detectives accused of child sex abuse probe failings

Police stock image
Police stock image

Three West Yorkshire Police detectives face a misconduct hearing over alleged failings while carrying out an investigation into child sexual exploitation offences.

The officers, named only as Detective Inspector Bragg, Detective Sergeant Lofthouse and Detective Constable Dawson, will appear before the public hearing next week.

Among the allegations is that Detective Inspector Bragg “dealt with the parents of the victim in an manner that could undermine their trust in West Yorkshire Police and failed to treat the victim as vulnerable”.

The officer is also alleged to have failed to adequately supervise a junior colleague tasked with investigating child sex abuse offences and failed to ensure they “had the necessary resources to conduct a serious and complex investigation”.

Detective Sergeant Lotfhouse, who allegedly breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in relation to Duties and Responsibilities, is also accused of failures relating to a junior colleague.

They are also alleged to have failed to make sure the investigation into child sexual exploitation was treated as a serious sexual offence and not treating the victim as vulnerable.

Detective Constable Dawson will appear before the hearing accused of making inappropriate comments to the victim and failing to treat them as vulnerable.

According to the West Yorkshire Police website: “It is alleged that the officer failed to properly prioritise allegations of serious offending, failed to seek appropriate guidance from more senior and experienced colleagues, failed to take proper and timely steps to identify possible suspects and investigate serious offences and failed to create crime reports in line with relevant guidance.”

The hearing is due to be heard between May 8 and 19. West Yorkshire Police declined to release further information about the accused officers, such as their first names, in advance of the hearing.

Natalie Starr.

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