girl head hands
A previous investigations into sex abuse in Rotherham found evidence of "appalling" exploitation involving children as young as 11.Keirsten Marie on Flickr

'Unfit for purpose' Rotherham Council is to be investigated by Britain's version of the FBI over child sex abuse.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is to investigate alleged criminal behaviour inside the local authority, which was today condemned by a government inspection.

Rotherham Council has been accused of allowing child sex abuse by Asian gangs to flourish in the town by failing to tackle them.

Investigators led by Louise Casey uncovered a culture of bullying and out-of-control political correctness. A report published on Wednesday declared the Yorkshire authority was "not fit for purpose."

In a statement, the NCA confirmed it shall conduct a serious investigation into "criminal behaviour" by council staff and not misconduct by professionals inside Rotherham Council.

"Operation Stovewood, the National Crime Agency's independent investigation examining criminal allegations of non-familial child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, is to examine a number of potentially criminal matters identified during a recent inspection of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council" the statement read.

"A number of matters have been referred to Operation Stovewood as they potentially fall within its terms of reference.

"The NCA can confirm that the matters referred are allegations of potential criminal behaviour. Operation Stovewood is not investigating any misconduct matters."