The UK’s Biggest Sexual Abuse Investigation Pleads for Survivors to Come Forwards

Posted on: 2 mins read
Last updated:
Jacob Shaw

Solicitor Graduate, Abuse

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Between 1997 and 2013 it is understood that in excess of 200 men, based in and around Rotherham, sexually exploited at least 1400 children.

Back in 2010, after conducting three separate investigations into this violent child sexual abuse ring, Rotherham police only managed to jail five offenders.

Since then, they’ve apologised for their failings over the handling of this investigation and have reopened the investigation with an entirely new approach.

Now, with more than 200 police officers working on the case, this is the biggest sexual abuse investigation the UK has ever seen.

Having already convicted 15 more people and arrested a further 200 suspects, police are now urging other survivors to come forwards to help find these sexual predators and get justice for the unspeakable abuse that they suffered at the hands of these men.

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What to do if you Have any Information

If you were a victim of child sexual abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013, or have any information that could help with the investigation, please either:

Police want to reassure anyone that has been affected by these terrible acts of abuse will be fully supported if they come forwards.

  • "It’s good to see how much investment is now being put into these important investigations. We cannot underestimate the level of impact that this abuse has had on both the individuals involved and the wider community. I urge people to contact the police if they have any information. They have specially trained officers who are committed to carrying out a thorough investigation into what happened"

    Hywel Thomas

    Simpson Millar

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has announced that Operation Stovewood is to enter a new phase from 1st January 2024. The NCA will continue to pursue investigations that are already open, however from 1st January 2024 it will no longer open any new investigations into allegations that were covered in the 2014 report. The NCA have made 200 arrests and secured 26 convictions so far and still have more than 50 active Stovewood investigations.

In the new phase of the operation any new allegations will be still investigated by South Yorkshire Police. Phillip Marshal, the NCA’s Head of Investigations for Stovewood, said that he was “confident that should anyone new come forward after 1st January they will still be supported in exactly the same way”.

South Yorkshire Police’s Assistance Chief Constable Sarah Poolman said that they feel confident that they can properly support victims and survivors and that they had embedded the learning from the 2014 report that led to Operation Stovewood.


As a team, we have years of experience with representing people who have suffered from the most serious abuse, and we have seen over the years how the police have improved how they carry out their investigations to ensure that abuse survivors are looked after throughout the criminal process.”

But, as experienced Abuse Lawyers, we know that having to open up and relive something that was so unimaginably terrible is daunting, to say the least.

If you’ve suffered from sexual abuse, it’s important that you know that help and support is out there for you. You don’t have to accept what has happened to you, and you don’t have to suffer with it on your own.

Contact the Abuse Team if you’ve been sexually abused and feel ready to take the first step in getting justice for what has happened to you. We’re here to listen and support you in whatever way you need.

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