‘Top ranking staff ordered raids to delete and remove case files and evidence detailing the scale of Rotherham’s child exploitation scandal, sources have revealed.
More than 10 years before the damning independent inquiry revealed sexual exploitation of 1,400 children in Rotherham a raid was carried out on the orders of senior staff to destroy evidence, it has been claimed.
In 2002 high profile personnel at Rotherham Council ordered a raid on Risky Business, Rotherham council’s specialist youth service, which offered one-to-one help and support to vulnerable teenage girls, ahead of the findings of a draft report, according to the Times.
The raid was to remove case files and wipe computer records detailing the scale and severity of the town’s sex-grooming crisis, sources told The Times.
It took place shortly after senior police and council staff became aware of the contents of the draft report of a 2000-01 research project that found evidence of a hidden child sex abuse scandal.
Files which revealed victims, offenders and how individual cases were handled by the child-protection authorities were removed.
The draft report was intended to form part of a national Home Office pilot project on child sexual exploitation in several English towns. The chapter on Rotherham remains unpublished to this day.
A researcher claims she refused to follow order by senior council officials instructing her to “remove or rewrite” sections of the report, which criticised the repeated failure of police and social services to protect children from identified abusers of Pakistani origin.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, and his deputy Nick Clegg have backed calls for South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner Shaun Wright to resign.’
Source: The Telegraph