Researcher who tried to expose Rotherham abuse ‘feared for life after police officers’ threat’

Nicola Blackwood, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon. Pic: David Jones/PA Wire.
Nicola Blackwood, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon. Pic: David Jones/PA Wire.

A Home Office researcher whose report into child sexual exploitation problems in Rotherham was ‘suppressed’ more than a decade ago has claimed she was threatened by two police officers.

The researcher claims she was approached by two officers while she was in her car at night, to be told it would be a ‘bad thing’ if the abusers she was investigating found out her home address.

The researcher, who has not been named, gave evidence in a private session to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday, and said she ‘feared for her life’ as a result of harassment in connection with her work.

Details of her evidence was revealed during the public session of the hearing by Conservative MP Nicola Blackwood.

She said the committee had been told by the researcher that her 2002 report had been greeted with hostility by South Yorkshire Police. She said they had heard evidence that the researcher had been contacted by two officers.

Ms Blackwood said: “The researcher told us she was threatened in her car at night by two police officers.

“They said wouldn’t it be a bad thing if some of those men found out where she lived. She feared for her life.”

The MP said she had been ‘deeply shocked’ by the evidence. South Yorkshire Police chief constable David Crompton said he would refer the researcher’s evidence on to the National Crime Agency, with whom he is in talks about holding an inquiry into the events in Rotherham.

Mr Crompton said he had not been aware of the matter prior to the committee raising it with him.