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Laura Perrins: Status report from South Yorkshire 2014. Gang rape is part of growing up


How is your outrage-o-meter this morning after reading about the Rotherham report? Labour-run Rotherham Council, states “Everyone Matters” apart from the 1,400 girls effectively handed over to groups of Muslim men of Pakistani origin to be raped, abused and trafficked around the country for further rape and abuse. It should really say, Rotherham, a bit like the Congo.

The report states: “One young person told us that ‘gang rape’ was a usual part of growing up in the area of Rotherham in which she lived.” Let’s just think about that. There is an area in England, in 2014, where a young girl says that ‘gang rape’ was a usual part of growing up.

The Executive summary tells us this: ‘No one knows the true scale of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham over the years. Our conservative estimate is that approximately 1400 children were sexually exploited over the full Inquiry period, from 1997 to 2013.

In just over a third of cases, children affected by sexual exploitation were previously known to social services because of child protection and neglect.
It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that these child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated.

There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, menaced with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and warned they would be next if they told anyone. Girls as young as 11 were raped by large numbers of male perpetrators.

The independent Inquiry is also hot on jargon. It mentions the term ‘multi-agency’ at least 38 times, ‘strategic’ 26 times, ‘inspection’ not less than 47 times, ‘managers’ a cool 40 times and ‘systems’ 15 times. Not that all the multi-agency strategic inspections with managers reviewing various systems did the young girls any good.

In fact, the Inquiry states, with no hint of irony, that inspections frequently found failures, including an “absence of sound information systems.” I’ll say. These girls needed care not sound information systems.

One exploited girl was treated as criminal. When another parent tried to extricate his daughter from a house where she was being abused, he was arrested. The police force involved – you guess it, South Yorkshire Police. What a glorious history of law enforcement they have.

It was reported that Labour councillors had to be given seminars in child sexual exploitation. They had to be told why raping under-age girls is, you know, illegal but happening quite a lot in the Borough. “Seminars for elected members [of the Borough] and senior officers in 2004-05 presented the abuse in the most explicit terms. After these events, nobody could say ‘we didn’t know’.” Still it continued.

If I have to wade through one more serious case review, another independent inquiry into how children and girls (can we stop calling them young people?) have been failed by the system, my rage-o-meter is going to explode.

Now, plenty of people will blame the Labour Council – which is fair enough – but something tells me they will be re-elected anyway by the good people of Rotherham even though they have utterly failed to protect the children of Rotherham.

Others will blame political correctness which is also fair enough. There is plenty of evidence that the council and the police looked the other way for fear of offending the Pakistani community. Many will blame the perpetrators themselves which is easy, but pretty useless, as we will always have a minority of men willing to prey on vulnerable girls. I for, one, will be blaming the not so good officers of South Yorkshire Police.

Having sex with a person under the age of 16 is the criminal offence of rape. When the police receive reports of under-age girls ‘having sex with older men’ the girls are being raped. So the police should get off their butts, gather some evidence (it should not be too difficult as consent should not be an issue) and prosecute some rapists.

Having sex with girls under the age of 13 is an ‘absolute criminal offence’ of rape, so South Yorkshire Police, this should be even easier to prosecute. Some girls were 11. I am not saying the prosecutions will be straight-forward, but you should at least try. It is what you are paid to do.

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