Posts Tagged ‘Rotherham grooming’

Despite everything, Labour will win in Rotherham tomorrow

28/11/2012, 05:32:32 PM

by Kevin Meagher

Labour will win the Rotherham by-election tomorrow.

To paraphrase George Orwell, that’s a revolutionary prediction in a time of angst for the party in what is usually thought to be a safe northern heartland.

A perfect storm of hostile circumstances surrounds this election, from the botched selection of the party’s candidate through to last weekend’s train wreck issue when a foster couple in the town, who happen to be members of UKIP, had three children removed from their care – with 20 minutes notice.

But these are trifles compared to the deeper issues affecting the town – and the election.

It is of course set against the revelation of a systematic problem of child-grooming by mainly Pakistani men in the town. Specifically, the indolence – and therefore complicity – of public authorities in Rotherham who knew of the problem and failed to act out of a misplaced sense of not wanting to inflame racial tension.

And, not to be forgotten, there’s the actual reason for the by-election in the first place: the resignation of Denis MacShane, in disgrace, after the Commons’ standards and privileges committee pilloried him over his expense claims.


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Savile’s is not the only face of child abuse in modern Britain

31/10/2012, 07:00:25 AM

by Kevin Meagher

If you remember the 1960’s the old counter-culture quip goes, you weren’t really there.

Jimmy Savile certainly was; and as his torrent of victims attests, they do remember. Perhaps we didn’t have a name for what Savile was doing back then, leaving his victims to face an inarticulate inner torment about what had even happened to them. But they have suddenly found their voice. And now we do know what to call it.

But Jimmy Savile is not an adequate public face for contemporary paedophilia. In fact creepy old bogeymen like Savile, Gary Glitter or Jonathan King actually hamper our understanding of the far more prosaic dangers facing children and young people.

The recent child abuse cases in Rotherham and Rochdale involving gangs of predominantly Pakistani men offers a very different face of 21st century child abuse in Britain, with scores of young girls used as little more than sex slaves passed about by groups of vicious, inhuman child rapists.

But the problem is not confined to just predatory celebrities, or, for that matter, particular ethnic groups. Indeed, the NSPCC says that the majority of child abusers sexually assault children known to them, with about 80 per cent of offences taking place in the home of either the offender or the victim.

But to truly understand and tackle this vile problem in our midst we need to cast the net wider than just the perpetrators.

Just as the BBC must face up to allegations that its premises were systematically used by Savile to procure and abuse young people, so, too, the social workers, teachers, police officers and youth workers who allow vulnerable young people in their charge – like those in Rochdale and Rotherham – to enter into abusive “relationships” under that wretched dogma of making “informed choices” deserve similar sanction.


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The Rotherham grooming case shows the dangers of confusing criminality with culture

27/09/2012, 07:00:12 AM

by Peter Watt

If you are a parent then there are some things that scare you more than others.  Someone else hurting your children is pretty high up that list.

The details emerging from Rotherham over the last few months about the systematic abuse of young girls are truly the stuff of parental nightmare.  But it’s all made worse because it now seems that for over ten years those charged with protecting children and young people failed.  In fact worst of all, they decided to look the other way!

They made a choice; protect children in the face of overwhelming evidence of sexual abuse and cruelty or worry more about some misconceived notion of “cultural sensitivities”, as if there is any culture where rape is acceptable.

They chose the latter.

It is important to say that the Times (£) has led the way in exposing both the abuse and the cover up.  And some of the details that they have uncovered from confidential reports are some of the most shocking that you can imagine.  The documents revealed by the Times give details of events over the years for which no one was prosecuted such as:

  • fifty-four Rotherham children were linked to sexual exploitation by three brothers from one British Pakistani family, 18 identifying one brother as their “boyfriend” and several allegedly made pregnant by him;
  • a 14-year-old girl from a loving, supportive family was allegedly held in a flat and forced to perform sex acts on five men, four of them Pakistani, plus a 32-year-old Iraqi Kurd. She gave a filmed police interview and identified her abusers;
  • one girl, 15, spent days in hospital after a broken bottle was allegedly forced inside her by two young British Pakistani men in a park, causing her to bleed extensively;
  • a 13-year-old girl was found at 3am with disrupted clothing in a house with a large group of Asian men who had fed her vodka. A neighbour reported the girl’s screams. Police arrested the child for being drunk and disorderly but did not question the men.

But the police and local authorities knew – and did nothing!


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