Release the grooming-gang review

Does the Home Office not trust us with the truth?

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The UK government has refused to release the findings of an official review into the characteristics of grooming gangs. In response to a freedom-of-information request filed by the Independent, the Home Office has said releasing the information at this time would not be in the ‘public interest’.

The review was launched by then home secretary Sajid Javid in 2018. This followed years of revelations about grooming gangs of predominantly British Pakistani Muslim men raping and pimping predominantly young, white, working-class girls in towns and cities across England, with victims numbering in the thousands.

At the time, Javid, himself of Pakistani heritage, expressed his anger, saying these gangs had ‘disgraced our heritage’. He spoke about the issue in various high-profile interviews, noting that time after time the authorities had turned a blind eye to such crimes for fear of being called racist. But so far nothing has come of it.

Last May, Javid was accused of a ‘shocking’ lack of action on the issue. His successor as home secretary, Priti Patel, is reportedly battling with civil servants even to see the results of the review herself. One source told the Huffington Post that she was being ‘given the runaround by officials’.

This is an outrageous betrayal of victims, past and present. Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham (where it is believed as many as 1,400 girls, some as young as 11, were raped and exploited between 1997 and 2013), has accused civil servants of ‘ignor[ing] requests into grooming-gang data’ in the hope ‘ministers will just move on to a different topic’.

She says this reluctance is not only failing the victims of Rotherham, Huddersfield, Manchester and elsewhere, the cases we already know about, but also those currently being abused. ‘The reason we need offender profiles is to allow the police to disrupt and prevent grooming gangs’, she told the Huffington Post. ‘We have this data on other forms of child abuse, why not this?’

It’s a good question. What could possibly justify withholding this information? Not least since the cost of secrecy in this area is so high – for the victims primarily, but also for our debate about these issues. While each of these scandals was shamefully enabled by police and local authorities, fearful that confronting grooming gangs could fuel community conflict and racism, covering it up risks having the opposite effect.

As Nazir Afzal, the former chief crown prosecutor who brought the Rochdale grooming gang to justice, has argued, the lack of research is being ‘exploited by the far right’. The less we are trusted to know about and discuss the phenomenon of British Pakistani Muslim grooming gangs, the more bad actors can fill the vacuum, exploiting this issue to their own racist ends.

We need a frank discussion about this depraved, industrial-scale form of sexual violence, why it has been routinely covered up, and what role a kind of religious bigotry plays in it. The Home Office must release the findings of this review, and trust us to have this difficult but profoundly important conversation.

Picture by: Getty.

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Comments

Alex Chartre

21st March 2020 at 8:02 pm

The gang rape of hundreds of thousands of White English children, targeted because they were not muslims, by gangs of muslim men (mostly Pakistani) in Cities across England is absolutely huge news. We are saying that a significant proportion of working age muslim men have been committing these heinous crimes repeatedly for over 40 years.
Every adult in Britain should know about this terrible information, not only to protect current and future victims (we are talking about innocent children, our children), but also because some kind of solution must be found.
The report is not being made public because of the gravity of the situation, and in order to put an end to this horror, drastic measures may need to be taken.

We are facing a situation, whereby the muslim community is carrying out war-like behaviour which is recommended by the muslim Prophet in the Koran and other texts which lie at the heart of Islam. This behaviour is obviously criminal in England, yet the muslims are carrying out these criminal actions on an industrial scale all over the country in complete disregard for the laws of the Land, and in disregard of basic humanity. This not only indicates, that the muslim community will always choose their religion over our laws, but this lack of humanity indicates a state of mind which is one of absolute hatred for the British people. This indicates to me that a significant proportion of the muslim population living in England feel that they are silently at war with us.

If our leaders continue to refuse to address this situation, the feelings on both sides of this silent war will intensify. The country needs to have an honest national debate about this crisis where there are no taboos, after which some very tough decisions will need to be taken. If our authorities continue to postpone facing up to their responsibilities, we could well end up in an open civil war taking place along religious lines in England.

Drastic measures are being taken in countries such as India and Burma, while terrible policies have been put into place in China. I am not saying we should follow in their footsteps, but the situation in this country is already extremely serious, and something needs to be done. At least to insure that not a single more 11 year old english girl gets violently raped by 10 or more Pakistani men because she happens to be christian.

martin witness

9th March 2020 at 12:41 am

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300239

Release the Home Office’s Grooming Gang Review in full

The Government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.

We, the British public, demand the release of the official research on grooming gangs undertaken by the Government in full.

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