A fear of stereotyping middle-class victims of child sexual assault gangs as being in care, homeless and ill-educated has led police to overlook the problem, a Home Office report has revealed.
The research into grooming gangs commissioned by the Home Office warned there was a perceived danger of broadly classifying the victims of the gangs which led police authorities to downplay or ignore the victims altogether, the Daily Telegraph reported.
“The consequence [is] that victims who differ from that picture are overlooked or unwilling to come forward in the belief that they will not be believed,” said the authors, who analysed police data, social services files and academic research and interviewed officers.
“We have seen many examples of children who do not have any of the above characteristics but have experienced exploitation and abuse.
“In our interviews, some officers told us they have seen victims from a seemingly ‘stable’ home, who are doing well at school, and who have simply been in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’.”
Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, commissioned the report to learn lessons after the grooming scandals in Rotherham, Rochdale and Telford, involving groups of men of mainly Pakistani ethnicity.
UK Child Abuse Inquiry Refuses to Investigate Pakistani Grooming Gangs https://t.co/VgU7hFXpxu
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 26, 2020
Patel said the suffering of the young victims was “one of the biggest stains on our country’s conscience” who were “let down by the state in the name of political correctness.”
As Breitbart London reported, as recently as four months ago Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) made 16 new grooming gang arrests in Rotherham and Leeds as part of an ongoing investigation into historic sex crimes.
The NCA said “around 150 people have now been arrested as part of Operation Stovewood” and that “Jail terms of almost 250 years have been handed down to the 20 people convicted so far.”
A Rotherham man who groomed & abused an 11-yr-old girl has been jailed for 4.5 years. 31 year old Kamir Khan sent the girl 4,000 messages on Snapchat & Whatsapp. He said he loved her and wanted to marry her. Khan also inappropriately touched her on 2 occasions in Feb & Mar 2019. pic.twitter.com/d9zqwJG6mQ
— BBC Radio Sheffield (@BBCSheffield) November 26, 2020
The Patel report mirrored the characteristics of those arrested and charged by concluding police and other agencies were failing to take sufficient account of — or collect comprehensive data on — the ethnic background of the criminals.
It said investigators should not “ignore cultural characteristics” which could explain offending, citing the case of Rotherham where police’ and social services’ fear of being branded racist stymied the investigation and their reliance on male community elders as a conduit of communication deterred victims from speaking.
The report disclosed there are 70 “live” investigations into grooming gangs across 32 police forces, which would suggest up to 100 across all 43 forces.
Home Office Bureaucrats Accused of Burying Report on Ethnicity of Grooming Gang Rapists https://t.co/yVU24WWNsl
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 7, 2020
The gangs also appeared to operate with an enhanced sense of impunity, with the researchers pointing to an inspection of Rotherham by former Government adviser Louise Casey which attributed this to a “credulity gap.”
“[The] failure by agencies to grasp the scale, nature, and severity of offending enabled offenders to think they could not be touched.” said the research.
The full ‘Group-based Child Sexual Exploitation – Characteristics of Offending’ report can be found here.