How the cops fail victims of child sexual exploitation
— November 11, 2014
A new report gives voice to young people at risk of sexual exploitation and blows apart the myth that “Asian gangs” are to blame, writes Sadie Robinson
We are continuously told that Asian grooming gangs are mainly responsible for child sexual exploitation.
And police say they get away with abuse because cops fear being called racist if they arrest Asian abusers.
But a recent report into child abuse in Greater Manchester has blown these myths apart.
It shows how the problem wasn’t cops being too “politically correct”.
It shows how authorities write off working class children as not credible—and not worth protecting.
One girl says of the police, “They seem to be expecting us to cause trouble. They look down on us so we would not go to them if we need help.
“The police have a stereotype of what we are.”
The Real Voices report was put together by Labour MP Ann Coffey.
It follows an investigation into child abuse in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.
Coffey’s report said that between 2008 and 2013 “the total number of sexual offences against children under 16 was 12,879.
“Yet only 2,341 defendants were proceeded against and of those only 1,078 were found guilty.”
It seems some child abuse reports are more newsworthy than others. Right wing papers didn’t splash these figures on their front pages.
The Times relegated it to page 28. And The Daily Mail reported it on page ten with the complaint, “Author refuses to focus on Asians”.
Coffey said it was wrong to focus on “Asian gangs” because most abuse involves a single offender, not a group.
Greater Manchester Police have 260 live investigations into child sexual exploitation. Some 174 are recorded crimes and just 18 of them involve multiple perpetrators.
Coffey also spoke to the Rochdale Sunrise child sexual exploitation team, which supports young victims.
Around 15 percent of its cases involved groups while 85 percent involved a single offender.
As Coffey put it, “Any exploitation of children for sex is abhorrent even if it takes place within a one-to-one relationship.”
Both boys and girls described how girls are often treated as objects to be used and controlled.
One girl said, “There is no respect whatsoever from the boys on this estate. They are just obsessed with getting their leg over. It’s the culture.”
The report aimed to investigate what steps authorities have taken to better protect children in the wake of a case that saw nine abusers jailed in Rochdale in 2012.
Coffey found evidence of dismissive and sexist attitudes among police and other authorities (see below)—and of failures to protect children.
It paints a depressing picture of what growing up is like, particularly for girls. It shows that abuse and sexist attitudes can’t be explained away by reference to “Asian culture”.
Instead, they are widespread and go right to the top.
Stereotyped and ignored
Police refused to treat some abused children as victims because of their background or behaviour, according to Coffey’s report.
She wrote, “Young people are still too often being blamed for being a victim of a crime.”
Case files where the Crown Prosecution Service decided no further action would be taken show Visit Site