A Serious Case Review examining childhood sexual abuse which took place in Oxfordshire, England concludes that the role of Pakistani Muslim men in the rape and torture of white British girls should become a topic of national investigation and concern.
The 114 page SCR follows from the conviction of seven men in 2013 for childhood sexual abuse of six British girls. Although the 2013 case focused on the abuse of six girls, four who had escaped the gang and two who were still being abused, the SCR identifies a total 373 girls who were likely abused in Oxfordshire over the past 15 years.
The men convicted for multiple counts of rape, prostitution and sex trafficking recruited mostly white girls as young as 11-years-old for sexual exploitation by other men. The girls were taken to empty homes where men paid the girls captors for “vaginal, anal and oral rape.” In addition to pumping the girls full of drugs and liquor, guards were on hand to make sure the brutalized young girls could not escape their captors’ clutches.
Significantly, most of the men involved in the gang were Muslims of Pakistani heritage. This follows the pattern described in another report published last year about childhood sexual abuse in Rotherham England. That report stated, “In Rotherham, the majority of known perpetrators were of Pakistani heritage, including the five men convicted in 2010.”
The current report mentions the Rotherham case but differs from it in that the author does not find evidence that police in Oxfordshire avoided going after the men responsible out of political correctness, i.e. fear of being called racist. In Oxfordshire, the problem seems to have been a more systemic disinterest in caring for girls who were too often seen as having consented to the abuse or brought the trouble on themselves. The report is critical of the lack of common sense exhibited by authorities who seemed remarkably incurious about why girls 12 and 13 years-old were reported missing dozens or even hundreds of times.
Nevertheless, the report does note that the abusers seem to come primarily from one heritage and states plainly that this finding cannot be overlooked because of cultural sensitivity [emphasis added]:
As has been found wherever this type of organised group abuse has been uncovered, the perpetrators have been mainly from an Asian heritage, with some from Africa or south east European countries, and with a mainly Muslim culture. This has continued with the Thames Valley cases post-Bullfinch [Bullfinch was the investigation which led to convictions in 2013], and in the very recent convictions in Bristol.This SCR, in one county, is not the place to attempt a definitive analysis of why this is, and this needs to be researched and understood at a national level given both its importance andthe sensitivities of any conclusions. It cannot be parked as too potentially sensitive or inflammatory to pursue openly at that level.
The report goes on to offer three recommendations for “national consideration” the third of which states, “With a significant proportion of those found guilty nationally of group CSE being from a Pakistani and/or Muslim heritage, relevant government departments should research why this is the case, in order to guide prevention strategies.”
Asked to explain how the abuse of hundreds of girls could have gone ignored in Oxfordshire, Detective Inspector Laura MacInnes told the Guardian, “Child exploitation was not really a known phenomenon. We didn’t understand it. If I’m honest, we just didn’t think anyone would do something as awful as we have now seen does happen. We were blinkered.” In the wake of Rotherham and Oxfordshire and, most recently, Bristol, that blinkering is supposedly coming to an end. “We’ve learned that if you look properly, you will find it,” MacInnes tells the Guardian.