Pak community must tackle grooming gangs: UK minister

The gang members ply victims with alcohol and drugs before forced them to perform sex acts.

Written by PTI | London | Published: May 18, 2013 4:16 pm

The Pakistani community in Britain must urgently address the problem of gangs systematically grooming and abusing young white girls,British Justice Minister Damian Green has said.

Just days after the seven men were convicted of carrying out crimes of “medieval depravity” against girls as young as 11 in Oxford,Green said it was time to dismiss any vestiges of political correctness around the issue.

The Pakistani-origin men were found guilty of sex crimes against girls,some as young as 11. They were found guilty on a total of 43 charges.

Kamar Jamil,Akhtar Dogar,Anjum Dogar,Assad Hussain,Mohammed Karrar,Bassam Karrar,Zeeshan Ahmed and Mohammed Hussain – all in their mid-20s and early 30s – were found guilty of either rape or conspiracy to rape. All are from

Oxford.

The court heard victims were plied with alcohol and drugs before being forced to perform sex acts. Some had also been beaten,burned and threatened.

“You have been convicted of the most serious offences and long custodial sentences are inevitable,” the judge at the Old Bailey said in his ruling today.

Years of failings by Thames Valley police and Oxford social services were exposed during the trial.

Police were alerted at least six times by victims — who were aged between 11 and 15 — of the exploitation and horrors that were taking place within flats and guesthouses and in the parks and open spaces of the Cowley area of Oxford. Though,some social workers knew that some of the victims were being groomed,no one acted and drew all the evidence together until one detective took the case on in late 2010.

Police and social services have apologised to the victims — the number of whom police say could exceed 50.

The Oxford scandal was the fifth such case since 2010 with gangs of Pakistani men being convicted of similar cases in Rochdale,Derby,Rotherham and Shropshire.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph,Green,who is the minister for police and criminal justice,said he was setting up a Home Office-led group to help tackle the problem of sexual violence against children.

But he said it was also up to Pakistani community leaders to make it absolutely clear that such behaviour was “100 per cent unacceptable”.

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