From The Daily Mail
A report into gang sex abuse came under fire yesterday for concluding there was no particular problem among Asian groups.
The study by deputy children’s commissioner Sue Berelowitz came to the controversial conclusion, despite figures in her own report revealing that more than a quarter of perpetrators of gang-based child abuse known to the authorities are Asian.
But she said this was not enough to conclude that there was a particular issue with Asian gangs. These are not Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist gangs either – the defining characteristic is that they are Muslim. Instead, her report says simply that abuse is carried out by men of all backgrounds.
Miss Berelowitz said the ‘model’ of Asian men targeting white girls was just one of ‘a number of models’, and warned that if investigators concentrated on those patterns, victims could fall through the net.
A Government source said: ‘It is difficult to overstate the contempt the Government has for the methodology and analysis in this report. The whole thing is half-baked.’
And the NSPCC said the report exposed the danger of ‘turning a blind eye’ to the ethnicity of abusers. Andrew Flanagan, chief executive of the NSPCC, said: ‘If there is a problem with one community in a particular area we must be bold enough to address it and not just turn a blind eye.’
Figures in the report state that out of 1,514 perpetrators identified, some 415 were Asian. This is 27 per cent of the total, far in excess of the proportion of Asian people in the community at large, which is 6 per cent.
But Miss Berelowitz’s report said: ‘Different models of exploitation have been identified. The evidence is clear that perpetrators come from all ethnic groups and so do their victims – contrary to what some may wish to believe.’
The report suggested the proportion of Asian perpetrators in the figures may be higher than whites because the authorities were targeting non-whites. It even concluded that the data on ethnicity was ‘unreliable’ because victims sometimes changed their description of their abuser.
A Whitehall source said last week: ‘It’s important we don’t take a politically correct approach and pretend there is not a real problem here. Obviously abuse has been carried out by men from all sorts of ethnic background. But that doesn’t mean we cannot say there is an issue about groups of Pakistani men systematically targeting young white girls.’
It is not just the north of England in the former mill towns either. There were arrests in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire yesterday, a town that once a reputation for prosperity, but where one quarter of the population are of ethnic minority.