Tom Crowther QC, who is the chairman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Telford, made the comments during a question and answer session with journalists.
It came in response to a question from a reporter over whether he would be looking at whether official bodies had avoided taking action on CSE because of concerns over offending particular communities.
Mr Crowther said: “If the inquiry finds an official response was inappropriate or inadequate because of misplaced concerns about giving offence, that is exactly the sort of matter a comment will be made on. I will not shy away from issues”
During an update being given on the inquiry’s work Mr Crowther said he still expected it to take 18 to 20 months, from its start date of July this year, although that would remain flexible.
He said: “We made it clear in July, setting a fixed date for the inquiry to report would be a challenge.
“At that stage we didn’t have any documents.”
He added: “To some extent that remains the case, we have received documents but I expect there to be more and the number of witnesses is not clear so because of that the timescale will need to remain flexible.”
One aspect Mr Crowther would not be drawn on is the number of witnesses who have come forward so far, for fear of identification.
He said: “The inquiry has promised that it will be discrete and treat individuals’ involvement confidentially.”