A West Yorkshire Police officer has received a written warning after a hearing found failings in the treatment of a child sex abuse survivor.
A nine-day misconduct hearing directed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found that officers failed to engage with the survivor and their family properly.
The detective constable was found to have failed to progress serious allegations and didn’t seek proper guidance, as well as making “inappropriate comments” to the survivor.
The hearing related to a case that was investigated in 2011.
An inspector and a sergeant were also found to have failed in supervising the DC and did not provide enough resources.
Police said that between them they had “failed to treat the survivor and their family appropriately.”
However, the panel found that misconduct was not proven against the inspector or the sergeant, and the two did not receive warnings.
IPCC Commissioner Derrick Campbell said: “I would like to express my sympathies for the survivor and their family for what is a very sad and disturbing case. I sincerely hope that West Yorkshire Police has truly learned lessons from this and will put measures in place to make sure these mistakes are not repeated in the future.”
Two officers, who were found to have a case to answer for gross misconduct, could not be subject to misconduct proceedings, as they had retired before the conclusion of the IPCC investigation. A further two officers were subject to management action as a result of their roles in the police investigation.
A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said that the force takes allegations of abuse extremely seriously and are actively campaigning to raise awareness of the issue.
The spokesperson said: “Since this time our approach to child sexual exploitation has significantly changed – it is a top priority for West Yorkshire Police. We have built strong partnerships and developed better working practices to ensure victims are properly supported and crimes thoroughly investigated to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
“The signs of child sexual exploitation are now identified and acted on at an early stage, and measures are put in place to protect victims and potential victims of this abhorrent crime.
“This improved understanding has also led to a number of cases across West Yorkshire, where perpetrators have been given lengthy jail sentences for sexual offences, some committed decades ago.”
A 2016 HMIC assessment into WYP’s safeguarding of young people was rated as “good” and recognised the force’s change in response to allegations of abuse.