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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Flora Thompson

Police investigate sex attack allegations at hotel housing asylum seekers

PA Archive

Police are investigating allegations a teenage boy was raped by a man in his 30s at a hotel being used to house asylum seekers.

A child under the age of 13 is also alleged to have been sexually assaulted at the same site in east London.

The Metropolitan Police said a boy, believed to be 17, was charged last month with “one count of sexual touching of a child under 13” after an incident at a hotel in Waltham Forest and will appear at Stratford Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

The Government needs to stop putting children and vulnerable people at risk
— Waltham Forest Council leader Grace Williams

Police were called to the same hotel on October 5 to a report of rape and spoke to the alleged victim, a boy in his teens, and his family, the force said.

A Met spokesman added: “A man, aged in his 30s, was arrested at the scene and taken into custody. He was bailed to return on a date in early January 2023.”

The Home Office said: “It would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing police investigation.

“We work around the clock with the police and local authorities to ensure the children in our care are safe.”

Clearsprings Ready Homes, which The Guardian reported operates the hotel for the Government department, declined to comment.

Earlier this week Grace Williams, leader of Waltham Forest Council, highlighted the alleged incidents when she met Home Office officials to raise “major concerns” about the lack of safeguarding at the hotel.

But, writing to the Home Secretary Suella Braverman after the meeting, she said: “I am not assured that there is a safeguarding plan in place to protect children and vulnerable adults in the hotel” and called for “immediate” action to prevent “any further harm to children”.

In a separate statement, Ms Williams added: “Waltham Forest has a proud history of welcoming people from across the world, the Government needs to stop putting children and vulnerable people at risk.”

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