A British social worker says her boss forced her to take a two-day diversity training class and that she was told to never mention race in her reports after she documented that Pakistani men had committed hundreds of acts of sexual abuse in Rotherham, a town of around 250,000 in northern England.
Working as a researcher for the British Home Office in 2002, the female social worker told the BBC that she was intimidated after she turned in a report documenting 270 cases of sexual exploitation involving men of Pakistani or Kashmiri heritage.
“You must never refer to that again. You must never refer to Asian men,” the social worker was told by a superior, she told the BBC. “And her other response was to book me on a two-day ethnicity and diversity class.”
The woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, came forward a week after a disturbing report released by Prof. Alexis Jay who found that at least 1,400 girls were groomed for sex between 1997 and 2013.
In her investigation, Jay found numerous social workers who said that they were told to avoid mentioning the race and ethnicity of the predators.
The whistle-blower said that after she sent her report to the Home Office and the Rotherham Council, her office was broken into and her records were stolen.
“They’d gained access to the office and taken my data, so out of the number of filing cabinets there was one drawer emptied and it was emptied of my data,” she told the BBC.
“It had to be an employee of the council.”
The woman said that only social workers were able to get the young victims to open up about what had happened to them. Along with those interviews, the whistle-blower told the BBC that she was collecting information on the men.
“I was collecting data on who the perpetrators were, what cars they were using, their grooming methods, their offending methods, and what I was also collecting, was information on professional responses,” she said.
In her final report on the exploitation and the cover-up, Prof. Jay said that the 2002 report could have prevented later abuses. (RELATED: British Social Workers ‘Downplayed’ Ethnicity of Sexual Abusers)
“Had this [2002 draft] report been treated with the seriousness it merited at the time by both the police and the council, the children involved then and later would have been better protected and abusers brought to justice,” Jay’s report read, according to the BBC.
“I was subjected to the most intense personal hostility – there were threats made from a range of sources,” the social worker told the BBC. “I’ve never seen back-covering like it and I still feel extremely angry about that.”
In her report, Jay noted that police and local senior officials “downplayed” the racial and ethnic dimensions of the perpetrators.
“Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so,” Jay’s report found.
It also notes that too much reliance was placed on imams to serve as “conduits” to Pakistani community.