In what is an extremely sad and rather worrying development new evidence has come to light suggesting that the authorities in Rotherham, South Yorkshire received warnings about child sexual exploitation as far back as 2003.
Further reports were made in 2006 but it seems that police and council officials took no steps to act on the intelligence received. Whistleblower Angie Heal has made public her version of events which suggests reports had been made to the authorities and yet they were allegedly ignored. The Sheffield Star newspaper made a Freedom of Information request to unearth the evidence and this showed that as far back as 2003, Dr Heal had warned that there could be "no complacency" over the issues.
In addition to rape and sexual abuse, many of the youngsters involved (aged between 11-15) were provided with drugs and other illegal substances. The victims were controlled with domestic violence and intimidation on a daily basis.
A follow up report by Dr Heal in 2006 was also allegedly not acted upon.