News Walthamstow

Teen boy allegedly raped at Walthamstow hotel housing refugees

A man in his 30s is under investigation
By Waltham Forest Echo

Stock image (credit: Met Police)
Stock image (credit: Met Police)

Police have received reports of a teenage boy being raped and a child being sexually assaulted at a Walthamstow hotel housing refugees.

As exclusively reported by The Guardian, the teenager was allegedly raped on 5th October by a man in his 30s, who is under investigation and was released on bail until early next year.

Only a few weeks earlier, police received a report from the same hotel – not identified to protect those seeking refuge there – of a child younger than 13 being sexually assaulted.

A suspect was charged on 11th September, released on bail and is due to appear at Stratford Magistrates Court on 9th November.

Police have not stated whether the two incidents are connected other than taking place at the same facility – a hotel where 150 children are reportedly living alongside 250 adults.

Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy has called for Home Secretary Suella Braverman to resign following the revelation, saying the Home Office has failed to protect refugee children.

This morning, she wrote: “On Monday, Suella Braverman dismissed my concerns about safeguarding refugee children in a hotel. She showed she couldn’t care less.

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“Now we know of at least two sexual assaults of children on her watch. She’s wholly unfit to be in office and must resign.”

Council leader Grace Williams also spoke out about the treatment of refugees in the borough, in a series of tweets earlier this week.

She wrote: “We have over 400 refugees, including 149 children placed in contingency hotels by the Home Office.

“From visiting the hotels and from officers feedback it is clear that they are not being given the support by this Government to meet the basic human rights we all share.

“The lack of protection for the rights of women & children is shocking. Some refugees have been threatened with deportation to Rwanda.”

Last week, the Echo reported the plight of 24-year-old Syrian refugee Hussein, who faces being ripped away from his family and sent to Rwanda only months after arriving in Waltham Forest.

Responding to the Guardian about the alleged sex crimes, a Home Office spokesperson 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.”

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