Rotherham

THEY TURNED A BLIND EYE: Home Office KNEW about Rotherham Muslim Grooming Scandal in 2002, report finds

FORMER Labour Home Secretary, David Blunkett KNEW about the sexual abuse of Children by Pakistani-Muslim men in Rotherham in 2002 but he chose to turn a ‘blind eye’ according to a bombshell report.

The then Labour government that was ran by Prime Minister Tony Blair, received information detailing the extent of grooming gang activity in Rotherham as far back as 2002 but failed to act on it.

More than 1,000 victims are believed to have been abused by grooming gangs in Rotherham between 1997 and 2010.

A report by Alexis Jay exposed “blatant” failures by police and the Labour-run local council, where officials feared being labelled ‘racist.’

The independent inquiry said an unpublished Home Office research report from 2002 described the extent of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and a series of criticisms over the response “that should have raised concern”.

An internal Home Office review of the information it handled could not locate the 2002 document but found that records were “imperfectly operated” and it may have been received.

Sarah Champion, the Labour MP for Rotherham, said it was “clear that the Home Office knew about child sexual exploitation in Rotherham from 2002”.

Sarah Champion, Member of Parliament for Rotherham.

“Why, when so many in authority knew the scale and severity of this crime, did it take until 2014, with the publication of the Jay report, for a large-scale investigation to occur?” she asked. “How many lives could have been protected if swift action had been taken a decade before?”

Groomers used multiple locations in the Rotherham area, including their homes, derelict buildings, businesses and taxis, while some victims were trafficked onwards to other towns and cities.

Drugs and alcohol were frequently used to control girls and lower their inhibitions, as well as emotional exploitation – seeing victims convinced they were in relationships with their abusers – threats and violence.

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