Age of lost innocence

The prevalence of child grooming gangs is a damning indictment of modern Britain

Published: May 16, 2013 3:35:47 am

Many of the details of the sexual grooming case that concluded with the conviction of seven men at the Old Bailey were too violent and too distressing to be reported upon. But the outline is sufficient. Over the course of eight long years,girls as young as 11 were drugged,raped and sold for sex at a string of properties across Oxford… Last May,nine men from Rochdale were imprisoned for grooming children for sex. And in November,in Rotherham,another five men were sentenced for similar crimes… In all three cases,the majority of the perpetrators were Asian. The cultural dimension to these crimes,while difficult,certainly cannot be ignored. In the Rochdale case,it was even suggested that police were slow to investigate for fear of being perceived as racist. Such sensitivities should not have been allowed to take precedence over children’s safety then; nor can they now that the phenomenon is no longer restricted to just one place,or even just one part of the country. Equally,however,the question of race must not be allowed to dominate. On-street grooming is not the sole preserve of Asian men,despite the impression created by the three most high-profile cases so far. Indeed,the most detailed research on the phenomenon so far found that,in 43 per cent of cases,the abusers were white.

From a leader in ‘The Independent’,London

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