BBC News quotes the Chairman of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz MP, as saying that revelations about files that can no longer be found gives rise to public suspicion of a deliberate cover-up of the child sex abuse scandal in Rotherham.
A Home Office funded researcher, based in Rotherham between 2000 and 2002 and who suspected that there were serious failings in responding to child sexual exploitation in the town, has given evidence to the Committee saying that someone had entered her office (apparently using a security code) and removed her files.
It is chilling to think that something like that may have happened. Nothing could be more damaging to the safe operation of services than deliberately obfuscating serious failings. Hiding weaknesses increases the probability of more things going wrong at a later date.
If there has been a cover-up, it is not just the safety of children in the past that has been compromised, but the safety of children and young people now and in the future.