Rotherham abuse: Researcher's warning 'ignored in 2002'
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of BBC News
Posted: February 16th, 2015
A former Home Office researcher says a bullying culture at Rotherham Council led to her warnings of child sexual exploitation being suppressed in 2002, years before action was finally taken. A report this month by government official Louise Casey concluded the council was not "fit for purpose". The council says it is investigating researcher Adele Gladman's claims. Previously, she has only spoken anonymously. "What I didn't realise was just how many whistle-blowers there had been over the years and how many opportunities to change poor practice," she said. "That has cost young people their health, their happiness and in some cases their lives." Ms Gladman was based at Rotherham Council when she carried out the work for the Home Office. She describes being subjected to bullying and intimidation after her research found a small number of men, mainly of Pakistani heritage, were sexually exploiting a significant number of young people. She says the council sent her on race awareness training and effectively suppressed her report. "I had every aspect of my professionalism questioned," she said. "I had every aspect of my work questioned. I had data removed over a weekend so that I couldn't substantiate my findings." She says the bullying she faced went beyond the local authority and remembers a police officer approaching her outside her office. "He and a colleague said words along the lines of 'Wouldn't it be a shame if these perpetrators found out where you and your family lived'. "And I took that as a direct threat to my personal safety. The message was very clear."
Note: By 'conservative estimates' detailed in a 2014 report, over 1400 children as young as 12 were sexually exploited between 1997 and 2013 in Rotherham. Police and elected officials actively helped the perpetrators, covered up the crimes, and systematically prevented the victims from getting help. For more, watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government, or read deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.