Grooming Gangs

MQT on 2018-11-22
Session date: 
November 22, 2018
Question By: 
Peter Whittle
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


BBC Radio 4 reported in their PM programme on 19 October 2018 that in 2008, the Home Office sent a circular to all police forces in the country stating: "as far as these young girls who are being exploited in towns and cities, we believe they have made an informed choice about their sexual behaviour and therefore it is not for police officers to get involved in."  a) Did the Metropolitan Police receive this letter? b) Were any investigations closed down in response to this letter? c) Did the Metropolitan Police ever receive a letter from the Home Office at a later date rescinding this order not to get involved in investigating the rape gangs (so called grooming gangs) and what did this letter say? And d) What other correspondence has the Metropolitan Police received from the Home Office dictating how they should proceed in investigating the rape gangs (so-called grooming gangs)?



Answer for Grooming Gangs
Grooming Gangs

Grooming Gangs

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Without further details the Met Police is unable to identify the Home Office circular from 2008 referred to nor the letter in question. Therefore, they cannot state whether any investigations were closed down in response to the letter or whether any order in the letter was later rescinded.

The terms ‘Rape gangs’ and ‘grooming gangs’ are not legally recognised and do not appear in MPS policy. However, these terms relate to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). The Home Office publication from March 2015 on ‘Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation’ formed the basis of the national response to CSE being identified as a National Threat in 2015 within the Strategic Policing Requirement and led to development of the National CSE Action Plan. A revised definition of CSE and targeted guidance and training ensuring professionals have a shared understanding of what CSE is and how best to work together to tackle it have been implemented - ensuring sexually exploited children are recognised as victims.  The Met Police CSE Strategic Governance Board oversees the local implementation of the Action Plan.