Investigation into missing council files

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Outgoing Rotherham Council chief executive Martin Kimber is to investigate claims a Home Office researcher’s report into the town’s child sex abuse problems was ‘suppressed’ in 2002.

New council leader Paul Lakin has said he found the description of how the researcher’s investigation was held back ‘deeply troubling’.

He has said he is asking Mr Kimber to look into the matter, as well as the alleged disappearance of files from the Risky Business project, a youth outreach programme where concerns about child sexual exploitation had been raised.

Media reports have claimed raids were ordered on Risky Business in 2002 by senior council staff, with case files removed and computer records wiped.

Coun Lakin said: “The Jay Report and subsequent newspaper articles make shocking claims of collusion and cover-up in relation to a 2002 Home Office report and the alleged disappearance of files from the Risky Business Project.

“I find this deeply troubling. Therefore, I am asking the chief executive to investigate the matter further and pass any information to the police, the Home Office and the Home Affairs Select Committee.

“In one instance, Prof Jay found an issue in a case file that should have been reported to the police and hadn’t been. It is important that the public can have confidence in the preventative and enforcement action taken by the council and its partners. I am writing to the Home Secretary to invite her to appoint a specialist to review any case files they wish, and make recommendations on these cases to both Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police.”