Rotherham police officer charged with child sex offence

South Yorkshire Police did not reveal the November arrest until Thursday

A South Yorkshire Police officer who was previously based in Rotherham, has been charged with a child sex offence, his force confirmed on Thursday.

Daniel Cookson appeared at Leeds Magistrates court on Thursday accused of causing a 15-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity.

The 27-year-old was arrested in November and charged on 21 August. However, South Yorkshire Police did not release the information until Thursday – days after a damning report into child sex abuses in Rotherham was published.

The force said he was “previously based in Rotherham”.

It added the charges relate to an alleged offence which took place between March and November last year.

Cookson was suspended when he was arrested, the force confirmed.

Read more: Democracy and the police: a system in crisis
Rotherham sex abuse officers ‘still try to prove victims are lying

He was released on bail pending further enquiries, and is to appear at Leeds Crown Court on 11 September, magistrates' court staff said.

South Yorkshire police say Cookson's arrest is not linked to the wider investigation into child abuse in Rotherham, as highlighted in a damning report this week.

The report revealed that at least 1,400 children were abused between 1997 and 2013 amid widespread failings by authorities.

Video: 'We have let you down' - Police chief gives 'unreserved' apology to the victims

On Thursday, David Cameron intensified pressure for embattled police commissioner Shaun Wright to quit over the Rotherham child abuse scandal.

The Prime Minister described a report into 16 years of widespread child abuse in the Yorkshire town as “deeply shocking”.

A spokeswoman for Mr Wright said he would not be commenting on Mr Cameron's remarks.

Joyce Thacker, the official in charge of children's services at crisis-hit Rotherham council also vowed not to quit, but said she was “appalled” by the revelations about abuse in the town.

Additional reporting by PA

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