The fearless BBC is never afraid to grasp nettles…
Social services and police “missed opportunities” to stop the sexual abuse of young girls in Rochdale, a report into a grooming scandal has revealed.
It comes after nine men were jailed in May for grooming girls as young as 13.
Oh and why were these opportunities missed?
“Deficiencies” and “patchy” training of front line staff were behind the failings, the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board said in its review of child sexual exploitation.
Ah, the old patchy training ploy, as Inspector Cluseau would say…but never fear
Lynne Jones, chair of the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board, said the council had “responded” to the review and had “improvements” had already been put in place.
That’s right, somebody wheeled out the same robot that was constructed in 1973, called it Lynne Jones, and pressed the button marked “LESSONS LEARNED”
“…working together….sharing information….raising awareness…..staff traing…..”
Only deep down towards the end of the piece, however, does the “fearless” BBC offer up a “by the way, please move along, nothing to see here” factoid
During the trial there were demonstrations by far-right groups after it emerged that white girls were being exploited by the gang, eight of whom were of Pakistani origin, with another from Afghanistan.
OMG – those crazy “far-right” groups with their racist agenda….take to the hills……oh, wait a minute
However, Greater Manchester Police said that there was no racial element to the case. It said that the main issue was older men exploiting vulnerable young women and girls.
Phew, that’s a relief. It wasn’t because of their cultural background….it was because they were “older men”. It’s not race/culture – it’s age/gender.
Julie Bindel, however, took a different view
One youth worker in south Yorkshire told me that because religious Muslims are being pressurised to marry virgins within their own extended family networks, it means that some are more likely to view white girls as easily available and “safer” than Pakistani girls.
Moreover, she felt that the reluctance of Social Services, Police and CPS to act in these cases wasn’t really down to lack of training or “working together” – but fear of being accused of being racist. This allowed the BNP to hijack the issue which obviously made it even more toxic. Now, of course, some people are speaking out…but why were they silent for so many years?
Anna Hall made a documentary for Channel 4 about Bradford Social Services which included interviews with two mothers who said their teenage daughters were being groomed.
The explosive grooming story nearly didn’t make the shortlist. Hall had already filmed several other stories through the children’s department which she was unable to screen for legal reasons. “We weren’t looking for this issue,” she says. “It just kept surfacing. Social workers said, ‘You can’t do that story because it’s too difficult.’ What did they mean by ‘too difficult’? Too racially sensitive?”
The BNP made a big deal of this film, seeing it as a vindication. Channel 4 got cold feet, especially as the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire spearheaded a campaign to stop it being shown.
So it does seem that one thing that motivated the various agencies to keep this in the Pending file was the fear of being accused of racism even though there were clearly people in the Muslim community who were confronting it.
There are, however, a growing number of individuals within the Muslim communities who are willing to speak out against the criminals. Mohammed Shafiq, the director of the Lancashire-based Ramadhan Foundation, a charity working for peaceful harmony between different ethnic communities, advocates better education about sexual exploitation to be disseminated through imams and other community leaders.
“I was one of the first within the Muslim community to speak out about this, four years ago,” says Shafiq, “and at the time I received death threats from some black and Asian people. But what I said has been proved right — that if we didn’t tackle it there would be more of these abusers and more girls getting harmed.”
But there also appears to be another factor which pushed it down the agenda, according to the Telegraph
Police said the victims were from “chaotic”, “council estate” backgrounds and as many as 50 girls could have been victims of the gang.
That explains it, then – not nice little middle class girls from the suburbs or twee villages. Chief Constables would scarcely get into their golf clubs before being badgered by “concerned” members of the public. But “white trash” from those chavvy council estates….maybe they were, y’know, asking for it?
No wonder these evil men were happy in their work. Their culturally influenced disparagement of these girls was buttressed by the prejudices of officialdom against the Sharon’s and Tracey’s of the white working class..
A self fulfilling prophecy if ever there was one…..