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FOI 10695 and 10696 2008 Grooming Circular

Ref No: FOI 10695 and 10696

Category: Operational policing


FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NOs: West Mercia Police 10695 and Warwickshire Police 10696


I write in connection with your requests for information which were received on 20th November 2018. Please find below the responses to your requests for West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police information:

On the October 19th edition of the PM programme on BBC Radio 4, former Chief Crown Prosecutor for North-West England Nazir Afzal made the following allegation:

"You may not know this, but back in 2008 the Home Office sent a circular to all police forces in the country saying '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 you police officers to get involved in.'"

Mr Afzal has previously referred to "the Home Office in a circular to police in 2008... [speaking] of girls making an "informed choice" to engage in this behaviour" in an IB Times opinion piece:

1a. Did the Home Office send a circular of this nature to your police force(s) in 2008, or another year close by?

1b. It is likely Mr Afzal was paraphrasing rather than quoting verbatim, so please disclose if a circular containing similar guidance was issued even if one which matches his statement exactly was not.

2. Please provide a copy of said circular and any related correspondence.



West Mercia Police 10695 and Warwickshire Police 10696 REPLY: No specific recorded information held.