Laura Sharman 29 September 2014

Schoolgirl sexual abuse letter causes ‘undue’ alarm in Havering

Havering Council has admitted warnings that young girls are being sexually exploited are ‘nowhere near as significant as first feared’, after a letter was accidently sent to parents.

The council had issued a letter to head teachers alerting them men of ‘Albanian origin’ were targeting girls for sexual abuse and exploitation on school premises. However, the letter was later posted on Facebook, causing ‘undue alarm’ to parents.

A council spokesperson said: ‘We sent an alert to our head teachers - as we need them to always be aware of any potential risks to local children. The message was never intended for public release. It was a fast and confidential alert for head teachers only, based on a rapidly evolving situation – and it now seems the concerns are nowhere near as significant as first feared.

‘Unfortunately it was passed on to some parents, causing undue alarm which we regret. However, we acted with the best of intentions, putting the safety of local children first, as our residents would expect.’

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