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Gangs Luring Hundreds of Children into Sexual Exploitation, ‘County Lines’ Crime in Multicultural Bradford

Bradford
PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of children are being exploited by dozens of criminal gangs for sex, drug trafficking, and other criminal activity in multicultural Bradford.

A new report produced by the local council suggests 471 youngsters have been brought into or are connected with some 51 organised criminal organisations operating in the northern English city, according to the BBC.

347 children were identified as at risk of sexual exploitation, with 203 of the victims identified as White British, and over 60 percent of the suspected groomers identified as being of Pakistani origin — in line with a pattern which has now been observed in town and cities across the country.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus

Breakdown of recent child sexual abuse suspects by ethnicity, from Bradford Council report via Telegraph and Argus

Local councillor David Ward, a Liberal Democrat/Independent, took the unusual step of calling out the ethnic element of the apparent offending directly, acknowledging that the report’s charts “show a disproportionate number of perpetrators that are Asian, and it is something we need to address”.

He pointed out that there was “nothing in this report that really refers to this statistic… a shocking statistic – 63 percent of perpetrators [are Pakistani]. This has an enormous impact on community cohesion, but we have to ask these questions, if we don’t others will.”

Specifically, Councillor Ward warned that “If we don’t ask these questions, Tommy Robinson will next time he is down in Bradford” — suggesting that the growing popularity of Robinson and populist movements which raise similar issues more generally may be forcing establishment parties to address topics they have previously been accused of deliberately ignoring.

“Too many children and young people in Bradford are at risk of exploitation in different ways,” the report notes, which also highlighted the use of minors in so-called ‘county lines’ crime, where youngsters are used to traffic illegal drugs, in particular, from multicultural urban centres with relatively high crime and low social cohesion into other areas of the country.

Earlier in October, police and prosecutors secured the first conviction of its kind against Zakaria Mohammed, from Aston in Birmingham, for grooming under-16s as “expendable workhorses” in a cross-county drug-running operation.

The minors were discovered in a “filthy” flat in Lincoln littered with wraps of heroin and crack cocaine, bundles of banknotes, and weapons including a blood-stained knife.

“[W]e found three children inside a one-bed flat alongside two class A drug users surrounded by used syringes,” commented Detective Inspector Tom Hadley.

“The place was filthy, cold and there was no food in the kitchen. The children looked drawn, tired and hungry… They were not making money – they were having their childhood stolen from them by Mohammed who considered them expendable ‘workhorses’.”

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