Home Office worker investigating Rotherham child abuse 'had data stolen'
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: September 9th, 2014
A Home Office official who investigated the sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham accused the council of being involved in the unauthorised removal of information from her office. Her report in 2002 suggested there were then more than 270 victims of the scandal, which was finally exposed last week with revelations that at least 1,400 children were abused from 1997 to 2013. She [said] that she had sent her report to both the council and the Home Office on a Friday, but when she returned on Monday she found her office had been raided. "They'd gained access to the office and taken my data, so out of the number of filing cabinets, there was one drawer emptied and it was emptied of my data. It had to be an employee of the council," she said. The Home Office researcher, [whose name was not released], also said she had been accused of being insensitive when she told one official that most of the perpetrators were from Rotherham's Pakistani community. A female colleague talked to her about the incident. "She said you must never refer to that again you must never refer to Asian men. And her other response was to book me on a two-day ethnicity and diversity course to raise my awareness of ethnic issues." The Home Office researcher said that at one point the council tried to get her sacked and the report was never published. A draft of the report severely criticised agencies working to tackle the child exploitation in the area, including "alleged indifference towards, and ignorance of, child sexual exploitation on the part of senior managers". It said: "Responsibility was continuously placed on young people's shoulders rather than with the suspected abusers."
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