Police Knew About Rotherham ‘Asian’ Rape Gangs But Ignored Them over Fears of ‘Racial Tensions’: Report

ROTHERHAM, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was processed using digital filters.) A teenage girl, who claims to be a victim of sexual abuse and alleged grooming, poses in Rotherham on September 3, 2014 in Rotherham, England. South Yorkshire Police have launched an independent investigation into its handling …
Christopher Furlong/Getty

A report has found that police in Rotherham ignored decades of abuse carried out by ‘Asian’ grooming gangs against young girls for fear of sparking “racial tensions”.

After years of denials by police in the north and Midlands, who claimed that race played no role in their inadequate response to the grooming gang epidemic, a report from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has found just the opposite.

According to the IOPC, a Rotherham chief inspector told the father of a missing girl that the town “would erupt” if it were revealed that south Asian grooming gangs were preying on young white girls.

The officer described the abuse epidemic as “P*** shagging” and said that he had been aware that it “had been going on for 30 years and the police could do nothing because of racial tensions”, per the Rotherham Advertiser.

“With it being Asians, we can’t afford for this to be coming out as Rotherham would erupt,” said the chief inspector.

The report was sparked by a complaint from a victim who was sexually abused by a Rotherham rape gang for several years starting in 2003. The IOPC said to the victim that it was “very clear that you were sexually exploited by Asian men” adding that the local police force “took insufficient action to prevent you from harm”, according to The Times.

In response to the failures of police in Rotherham and in Manchester, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Tackling this abuse is a priority for the Home Office, which is why I have accelerated the delivery of the Tackling Child Sex Abuse strategy that will put victims first. There will be no no-go areas.”

The victim who sparked the investigation, who is now in her early 30s, said that she was “heartbroken” that the report did not recommend prosecution for any of the police involved in covering up grooming gang crimes but said that the report vindicated her complaints.

“It’s great that I have been vindicated finally after all these years, but yet again no-one is going to be made accountable for the failings that happened with my case – I’ve not even received an apology from South Yorkshire Police,” she said, adding: “For 18 years I have being trying to prove that I’m not a liar, that I didn’t make it up.”

“I’m really, really disgusted in what was in there [the report] — basically, that victims and their families were sacrificed. Their lives ruined, living with a life sentence because of fear of racial tension,” she concluded.

The IOPC report was launched following the Jay Report, which found that 1,400 children were sexually exploited by Rotherham rape gangs between 1997 and 2013. So far, 36 men and two women have been given a total of 550 years in prison in relation to the scandal.

The South Yorkshire Police accepted the findings of the report, saying that it has “been working to address the issues it raises since the publication of the Jay Report in 2014”. However, it went on to decry the lack of accountability for the officers involved in overlooking the crimes committed by the grooming gangs.

“After such a lengthy IOPC investigation it is disappointing that no individual officer has been identified as this is not something we would tolerate in today’s force,” the statement read.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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