From the Daily Mail
. . . middle-class girls, groomed into sex slavery by street gangs, have been rescued and are living in a safe house a few miles from De Wallen, the notorious red-light area of Holland’s capital, Amsterdam.
They are the lucky ones. Thousands of other young Dutch girls, some only 11 or 12 years old, are still in the power of the prowling gangs after a controversial social experiment to legalise brothels.
In a chilling parallel to the scandal sweeping Britain’s towns and cities, where a multitude of girls have been lured into sex-for-sale rings run by gangs, the Dutch pimps search out girls at school gates and in cafes, posing as ‘boyfriends’ promising romance, fast car rides and restaurant meals
The men ply their victims with vodka and drugs. They tell them lies: that they love them and their families don’t care for them. Then, the trap set, they rape them with other gang members, often taking photos of the attack to blackmail the girl into submission.
Befuddled, frightened, and too ashamed to tell parents or teachers, the girls are cynically isolated from their old lives and swept into prostitution.
So dangerous are the gangs that the girls at the safe house never venture out alone.
Anita de Wit, 48, the mother of three who set up the safe house last month. It is thought to be the first of its kind in the world. ‘The gangs can kill, and will try to get these girls back because they earn them money. We do not want them coming here to harm them. ’
Anything-goes Amsterdam has long been hailed as a sex mecca. . . In 2000, after pressure from prostitutes (demanding recognition as sex workers with employment rights) and Holland’s liberal intelligentsia (championing the choice of women to do what they wished with their bodies), the brothels were legalised.
But things went badly wrong. Holland’s newly legal sex industry was quickly infiltrated by street-grooming gangs with one target: the under-age girl virgin who can be sold for sex.
The men in the gangs are dubbed — incongruously — ‘lover boys’, because of their distinct modus operandi of making girls fall in love with them before forcing them into prostitution at private flats or houses all over Holland, and in the window brothels. The lover boy phenomenon has appalled Dutch society, not least because of the sheer numbers of girls involved.
Lodewijk Asscher a leading politician . . . has championed new rules in Amsterdam’s red-light district from January. Prostitutes will sign a register and the minimum age for sex workers will be raised from 18 to 21, to try to stop girls being forced to work by the gangs.
Holland hopes the rot will be halted. Last year, 242 lover boy crimes were investigated by police, half of them involving the forced prostitution of girls under 18. Campaigner Anita de Wit says this is a fraction — ‘one per cent’ — of the true number. ‘There are thousands of girls being preyed on by male gangs in Holland,’ she says.
Anita visits schools to warn girls exactly what a lover boy looks like, and makes no bones of the fact that most of the gangs are operated by Dutch-born Moroccan and Turkish men.
‘I am not politically correct. I am not afraid of being called a racist, which would be untrue. I tell the girls that lover boys are young, dark-skinned and very good looking. They will have lots of money and bling as well as a big car. They will give out cigarettes and vodka. They will tell a girl that she is beautiful.
‘The gangs know who to pick out: the girl with the confidence problems, with the glasses, or who looks overweight. They flatter her and seem like the “knight in shining armour”. She is drawn to her new boyfriend like a magnet.
Anita’s bluntness is a far cry from the approach in Britain, where political correctness has stopped police and social workers telling girls the same home truths: that in many towns, particularly in the north of England, the handsome men chatting them up at the school gate are very likely to be of Pakistani descent. They, too, ply the girls with alcohol and gifts, pretending to be genuine boyfriends.
This week a report into our own sex gangs — by Sue Berelowitz, Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England — was criticised (by the NSPCC, among others) for discounting the evident link between Asian gangs and the sexual exploitation of white and mixed race girls.
In Holland, as in Britain . . . the lover boys seem to see white girls as worthless, to be abused without a second thought.
. . . at the safe house, there are (equally) disturbing tales. There is Eline, who was an 18-year-old virgin when she met a Turkish lover boy at a New Year party at her local youth club.
Eline thought she was in love with him, but within a few weeks the rest of his group had gang-raped her on a patch of waste land, photographed their crime, and were threatening to tell her parents if she did not sleep with other men to earn them money.
Eline shakes her head a little sadly as she says: ‘The lover boys are always one step ahead. They are making a fortune from these young girls. It is everyone’s duty to tell the truth about what is happening — particularly to potential victims.’
It is a sobering lesson not only that political correctness must not prevent people voicing their fears about grooming gangs, but also that Holland’s liberal approach to sex has backfired disastrously on many of these damaged victims.