FOI release

Independent review of Home Office files to identify information about organised child sex abuse (CR26174)

Independent review of all Home Office files from 1979 to 1999 to identify any information received about organised child sex abuse.

Documents

Response to freedom of information request

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Interim report: executive summary

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Final report: executive summary

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Review terms of reference

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Detail

To review all relevant Home Office files, records and other papers from the period 1979 to 1999 and establish a picture of:

  1. what, if any, material was provided to the department in relation to alleged organised child abuse; and
  2. what, if any, action was taken in relation to such allegations and whether relevant materials were passed to the police or law enforcement body to investigate; and
  3. whether any member of Home Office staff was alleged or found to be involved or implicated in organised child abuse and what action was taken.

In particular the review should establish a full picture in respect of:

  • correspondence, reports or papers from, and to, the former Member of Parliament Geoffrey Dickens in relation to child abuse, or any related matter;
  • any correspondence, reports or papers received or sent relating to the Paedophile Information Exchange as an organisation or topic;
  • any correspondence, reports or papers relating to any Home Office employee alleged to have been involved or implicated in organised child abuse.

(i) Where materials or papers or reports cannot be located or accounted for, the review should establish the reasons why they cannot be located and, if destroyed, whether this was within the Government guidance on retention and disposal of files and papers at that time.

(ii) Consider whether anything found would merit further investigation, including criminal investigation.

The review should report to the Permanent Secretary within 4 weeks. An executive summary suitable for publication should be provided together with any relevant recommendations or findings.

In relation to point (ii), the review should draw immediately to the attention of the Permanent Secretary (without waiting for the final report) any matters considered to merit police investigation.