South Yorkshire Police members have nominated themselves for a communications award – even though they failed to stop 1,400 schoolgirls being abused over a 16-year period. The force has been nominated five times for four different campaigns in the UK Public Sector Communications Award 2015 including one for “raising awareness of child sexual exploitation.”
According to the South Yorkshire Times, the ‘Spot the Signs’ campaign – launched in the wake of the Rotherham grooming scandal for which the force drew heavy criticism – has been shortlisted for the Partnership Engagement of the Year award to recognise South Yorkshire Police efforts in helping to ‘raise awareness of the signs of child sexual exploitation’.
The campaign is in the running for the Partnership Engagement of the Year award after the force worked with local councils, Crimestoppers, specialist charity the National Working Group and the Crown Prosecution Service.
It was launched in November in the wake of the Jay report revealing at least 1,400 children in Rotherham had been abused between 1997 and 2013. But one abuse victim from Rotherham was less than impressed that the force should not be nominating itself for prizes given the controversial circumstances of the grooming scandal.
She told the South Yorkshire Times: “What they need to start realising is it is the survivors raising awareness and it is because of them everything has been exposed and more is getting done.
“With everything that has gone on, I can’t believe they have put themselves up for an award. Even eight months after the Jay report, there is still not enough done.”
The force has also been nominated for awards in other categories including: ‘No invite, No entry’ campaign, aimed at tackling burglary, which has been shortlisted for the Community Relations Campaign of the Year award, and the Local Community Initiative of the Year award.
Head of Corporate Communications Carrie Goodwin said: “The force continues to demonstrate creativity, bravery and dedication in the way it engages with its communities. These campaigns are created, developed, shaped and implemented by project teams made up of representatives from various areas the force, and this recognition is testament to the continued efforts of all those involved.”
The award winners will be announced in July.