Britain’s Home Office had received information about Pakistani grooming gangs raping vulnerable white girls more than a decade before it finally commissioned an investigation, a review has found.
A review had found that documents relating to an unpublished report which detailed “men who are believed to be responsible for pimping and grooming young people into prostitution” in Rotherham, north east England, was sent to the Home Office in 2002, but the department failed to act on it.
The revelations were reported in the Home Office’s internal review entitled: “The Rotherham Independent Review: a review into information passed to the Home Office in connection with allegations of Child Sexual Abuse in Rotherham” released Tuesday and which considered whether the Home Office properly handed material sent to it regarding Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).
This included an assessment of a University of Luton (now Bedfordshire) research project titled “Risky Business” which ran from 2001 and 2002 and was funded by the Home Office. It was set up to identify and support girls at risk of CSE and focused on “targetting men who are believed to be responsible for pimping and grooming young people into prostitution”.
The July 2018 internal Home Office review stated that the researcher had said she sent her draft report to “Home Office evaluators and senior officials” in 2002 and that she had spoken to several Home Office officials about her work. However, the internal review found that some Home Office officials claimed to have no recollection of having received it, with “one inclined to the view that it might have been received and one felt it less likely”.
No copy of the 2002 draft report had been found in the Home Office archives, but reviewers state that enough of information related to its work can be determined to have been seen by the Home Office.