Police Knew for 13 Years Arshid Hussain Was Grooming, Raping Girls in Foster Care

Arshid Hussain
South Yorkshire Police

A police watchdog has upheld a complaint by a grooming gang victim against South Yorkshire Police that the force knew for years that child rapist Arshid Hussain was targeting girls in foster care and other “vulnerable young women” caught up in the widespread Rotherham grooming gang scandal.

Grooming gang survivor Sammy Woodhouse had lodged a complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct that the force had failed to “deal appropriately with information which may have led to a suspect being prosecuted at an earlier stage, thereby exposing other children to abuse”.

The IOPC had found, in its report released this week, that South Yorkshire Police was aware that Hussain was raping Ms Woodhouse when she was 14, and that she was pregnant by him. It also knew that the rapist was in so-called “relationships” with other female minors in foster care, according to the report seen by The Times.

Police documents from March 2000 revealed that “Hussain… has, in the past, had a number of relationships with young girls who are in foster care. He targets young, vulnerable women.”

Other reports from later that month revealed South Yorkshire Police had struck a deal with Hussain to hand over the child, who was missing from home, to officers. Records show that the Pakistani-heritage man was neither questioned nor arrested.

In June 2000, police had even gathered with other local agencies, including social services, to discuss Hussain and his brothers and their grooming and raping of vulnerable girls in the Rotherham area.

Even social worker documents mentioned several minors, including Ms Woodhouse, as “girls Arshid Hussain uses for sex”. The young rape victim entered a care home in July 2000, but continued to be abused by Hussain, who her foster carer called her “older boyfriend”, with claims that social services “were content with the relationship”.

The abuse did not come to public attention until Ms Woodhouse told her ordeal to The Times in 2013, prompting the Jay Report, which revealed in 2014 that more than 1,400 mostly white, working class underage girls had been groomed, raped, and sexually exploited by overwhelmingly Muslim, Pakistani-heritage men between 1997 and 2013 alone. The report found that police and social services failed to deal with the mass rape of children due to political correctness and for “fear of being thought racist”.

An IOPC report from January revealed that one Rotherham chief inspector told the father of a missing girl in the early 2000s that they would not be investigating his daughter’s sexual exploitation over fears of stoking “racial tensions”, saying that the town “would erupt” if it were confirmed that Pakistanis were targeting white girls for sex — a scandal that the officer admitted had been going on for 30 years without challenge.

Similar approaches were revealed to have occurred in other forces around the country, with a report showing that in the early 2000s, Greater Manchester Police officers were told to look for sexual abusers of “other ethnicities”, despite having evidence that a gang of some 97 South Asian men were abusing around 57 girls in the city.

South Yorkshire Police admitted to the findings, but no officers will be held responsible for the abuse that so many girls had suffered.

Reacting to the report, Ms Woodhouse told the newspaper of record that it was a “bittersweet moment”, adding: “I’ve been waiting 19 years for this. It shows that if professionals had taken action when I was a child, the suffering of so many more girls and their families could have been prevented. Far too many lives have been ruined.”

Last month it was revealed that the government’s national child abuse inquiry would not be looking at Pakistani grooming gangs, instead probing into areas where there have been no reports of the racially-motivated grooming of vulnerable white girls, allegedly on the grounds that grooming gang scandals in places like Rochdale, Rotherham, Manchester, Oxford, and Telford were of a historical nature.

Maggie Oliver, a former Manchester police detective who blew the whistle on the Rochdale grooming gangs, condemned the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse for its decision and revealed that two-thirds of her witness statement to the IICSA had been deleted.

Ms Oliver had said: “This isn’t a historical problem, it is going on in every town and city in the north of England… Even now, even today and I have information from this weekend. This is not a historical problem.

“This is another attempt to silence those with an alternative viewpoint based on fact and knowledge… The establishment don’t want to hear that truth, they peddle out the same platitudes… They always say these are historical failures.”

Woodhouse also said of the IICSA that “They are trying to bury what happened in places like Rotherham and Rochdale because they’re scared of being called racist.”


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