From The Independent (UK):
Home Office had information on Rotherham grooming gangs in 2002 but failed to act, review finds
‘How many lives could have been protected if swift action had been taken a decade before the Jay report?’ MP asks
Lizzie Dearden Home Affairs Correspondent
11 hours ago
The government received information detailing the extent of grooming gang activity in Rotherham as far back as 2002 but failed to properly act on it, a review has found.
The National Crime Agency’s ongoing investigation has revealed that more than 1,500 girls and young women may have been abused in the Yorkshire town between 1997 and 2013.
A report by Alexis Jay exposed “blatant” failures by police and the Labour-run local council, where officials feared racism accusations at the time.
The independent inquiry said an unpublished Home Office research report from 2002 described the extent of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and a series of criticisms over the response “that should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”.
But a large-scale inquiry was not launched until after a Times report on the scale of grooming provoked a national scandal a decade later. …
Actually, it took a dozen years, until 2014, for Rotherham to surface in the press. There had plenty of evidence of a general pattern in English cities before the Rotherham report came out. I’d written about the pervasive disgrace in 2013.
Sarah Champion, the Labour MP for Rotherham, said it was “clear that the Home Office knew about child sexual exploitation in Rotherham from 2002”.
“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?”
Of course, it’s taken 4 years for this inquiry to accomplish anything. It’s almost as if the British Establishment isn’t really all that interested in the widespread problem of Pakistani pimps exploiting underage English girls and would prefer if everybody just forgot about it.