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article imageOp-Ed: 1,400 kids sexually abused in one UK town, cops knew, did nothing

By Paul Wallis     Aug 27, 2014 in Crime
Rotherham - It must surely be one of the most inglorious moments in British history. A report indicates that a place called Rotherham was for years a centre of serious sexual violence and abuse of children over a period of 16 years.
Worse, police were allegedly aware of the abuse and did nothing.
Sydney Morning Herald
Reading descriptions of the abuse makes it hard to imagine that nothing was done for so long. The report described rapes by multiple perpetrators, mainly from Britain's Pakistani community, and how children were trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated.
"There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone," Professor Jay said. "Girls as young as 11 were raped by large numbers of male perpetrators."
Politically correct- And unbelievably irresponsible?
The rest of the story is arguably even more appalling, in a truly strange way- The local police weren’t even in the ballpark for managing the issue.
Complicating the reporting was the fact that victims described the perpetrators as "Asian" and yet the council failed to engage with the town's Pakistani community.
"Some councillors seemed to think it was a one-off problem, which they hoped would go away" Professor Jay (Professor Alexis Jay, a former chief social work adviser to the Scottish government and author of the report) said. "Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so."
BBC:
…in September 2012, Andrew Norfolk, a journalist on The Times newspaper, published an investigation which revealed a confidential 2010 police report had warned thousands of such crimes were being committed in South Yorkshire each year by networks of Asian men.
The town's former Labour MP, Denis MacShane, claimed police had kept the abuse secret from politicians.
"The Rotherham police exposed, arrested and broke up an evil gang of internal traffickers who were sent to prison," he said.
"But it is clear the internal trafficking of barely pubescent girls is much more widespread."
The Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz told the police response group it should “get a grip” some years ago. The Committee wasn’t impressed with the local Child Sexual Exploitation group’s activities, mentioning that another council had carried out 100 prosecutions in the last year, whereas the South Yorkshire council responsible for Rotherham had conducted none.
The information contained in Professor Jay’s report tends to support the Committee’s views. The statement that directions were specifically given not to refer to a particular group in the community is truly horrifying. “Multiculturalism” does not extend to tolerating a plague of serious crime against children. Nor does it extend to ignoring a culture of slavery and human trafficking.
Unfortunately, it’s all too believable that some trivial perception of public image would take precedence over kid’s lives. The typically weak response to cultural issues has been an easy out for social failures of so many kinds.
Even more grotesque, against a background of public outrage in the UK against honor killings, acid attacks and other violence, it appears that even describing a group of criminals was too politically dangerous for the police. The police, in theory, are not employed as public relations agents for politicians or anyone else. In practice, the mere mention of “Pakistanis” was too much to ask.
Even the local MP, MacShane, apparently couldn’t get any traction in terms of actual law enforcement. This is a true indictment of a political system and culture of evasion which is actively supporting serious crime.
Fool Britannia
The UK’s system has now achieved total failure in this case. The epidemic of sexual abuse cases, in particular, has exposed how totally ineffectual the culture of “do less than nothing” really is.
Even now, it’s unclear what action will be taken regarding the Jay report. There have been no official statements regarding prosecutions, added child protection, or even tracing abused kids.
This laissez faire environment is pure insanity decorated with a virtual litany of all forms of social stupidity. Are the police on holiday? Are child protection agencies for ornamentation only?
…Or are they scared of something or someone? Or being paid for their frenzied inactivity? It’s hard to imagine any police force being so naïve and blissfully ignorant without a bit of inspiration from somewhere. The UK government should take this “organization” apart and find out why it’s not doing its job.
It should also find out why managers obstructed the natural operations of a police force, micromanaging even descriptions of alleged perpetrators. Something stinks in Rothenham, and it’s not just the criminals.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Rotherham, South yorkshire, Child sexual abuse, Child trafficking
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