Police in the town of Rotherham, England have admitted to a shameful response to a series of sex crimes against children stretching over a decade. According to a report released yesterday, one of the reasons police failed to act appropriately was fear they would be labeled racist for pointing out that most of the perpetrators of these crimes were Pakistani men.
Breitbart News has already covered the outlines of the story here and here. In short, the 153-page report finds that between 1997 and 2013 at least 1,400 girls (mostly white) were sexually abused by (mostly) Pakistani men. Here is just one example as described in the report [emphasis added]:
Child B (2001) was referred to Risky Business by her school when she was 15 years old. By that time, she had been groomed by an older man involved in the exploitation of other children. Child B loved this man and believed he loved her. He trafficked her to Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield and offered to provide her with a flat in one of those cities…Within just a few months, Child B and her family were living in fear of their lives. The windows in their house were put in. She and her family received threats that she would be forced into prostitution. Child B was assaulted by other victims at the instigation of the perpetrator. An attack on her older sibling by associates of the perpetrator resulted in him being hospitalised with serious injuries. Child B also required hospital treatment for injuries she sustained. A younger child in the family was threatened and had to go into hiding so that the perpetrators could not carry out threats against her. Child B and her mother refused to have anything more to do with the Police, because they believed the Police could do nothing to protect them. Child B had been stalked and had petrol poured over her and was threatened with being set alight. She took overdoses. She and her family were too terrified to make statements to the Police. By the time Child B was 18, her family situation had broken down and she was homeless. She referred herself to children’s social care, and was given advice about benefits. No further action was taken. This child and her family were completely failed by all services with the exception of Risky Business.
The report found indications that both police and local government officials did not address the obvious racial aspect of the crimes for fear of being called racist. The report devotes an entire chapter to this topic. Here is some of what it says.
As has been stated many times before, there is no simple link between race and child sexual exploitation, and across the UK the greatest numbers of perpetrators of CSE are white men. The second largest category, according to the Children’s Commissioner’s report, are those from a minority ethnic background, particularly those recorded as ‘Asian’. In Rotherham, the majority of known perpetrators were of Pakistani heritage including the five men convicted in 2010. The file reading carried out by the Inquiry also confirmed that the ethnic origin of many perpetrators was ‘Asian’.
Several people interviewed expressed the general view that ethnic considerations had influenced the policy response of the Council and the Police, rather than in individual cases. One example was given by the Risky Business project Manager (1997- 2012) who reported that she was told not to refer to the ethnic origins of perpetrators when carrying out training. Other staff in children’s social care said that when writing reports on CSE cases, they were advised by their managers to be cautious about referring to the ethnicity of the perpetrators.
The issue of race, regardless of ethnic group, should be tackled as an absolute priority if it is known to be a significant factor in the criminal activity of organised abuse in any local community. There was little evidence of such action being taken in Rotherham in the earlier years. Councillors can play an effective role in this, especially those representing the communities in question, but only if they act as facilitators of communication rather than barriers to it. One senior officer suggested that some influential Pakistani-heritage councillors in Rotherham had acted as barriers.
Several councillors interviewed believed that by opening up these issues they could be ‘giving oxygen’ to racist perspectives that might in turn attract extremist political groups and threaten community cohesion. To some extent this concern was valid, with the apparent targeting of the town by groups such as the English Defence League. The Deputy Council Leader (2011-2014) from the Pakistani-heritage community was clear that he had not understood the scale of the CSE problem in Rotherham until 2013. He then disagreed with colleague elected members on the way to approach it. He had advocated taking the issue ‘head on’ but had been overruled. He was one of the elected members who said they thought the criminal convictions in 2010 were ‘a one-off, isolated case’, and not an example of a more deep-rooted problem of Pakistani-heritage perpetrators targeting young white girls. This was at best naïve, and at worst ignoring a politically inconvenient truth.
Prosecutions in Rotherham continue to lag despite the attention given this topic. Incredibly, the Mayor of Rotherham quit this summer after it was alleged that he had a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl several decades ago.