I have been following, or trying to follow, this matter in Barrow in Furness for some weeks. Now the UAF and their associates are getting so agitated because Tommy Robinson is taking an interest the matter has attracted the attention of the national newspapers. I think a wider and stronger light needs to be shone; otherwise we will never get to the bottom of it. I didn't post anything here before while one of the young women who has made allegations is in custody and awaits trial, about which more later.
From the Daily Mail. I'll start in the middle because Tommy's arrest isn't the most important thing about this.
He (Tommy) had earlier spoken at a rally at a retail park in Barrow-in-Furness which was being held in support of a 19-year-old woman who alleges she was drugged and raped by a grooming gang.
No-one has been charged after a year long police investigation concluded there was insufficient evidence.
The unnamed teenager is currently in custody awaiting a court hearing for an alleged breach of bail conditions after being charged with perverting the course of justice.
The North West Mail reported yesterday evening's protest thus
Controversial political activist Tommy Robinson has once again attended a protest in Barrow. . .
A previous demonstration took place last week, with cars beeping their horns and people handing out leaflets in the town's Hollywood Retail Park.
The protests are in support of a young woman at the centre of sexual assault claims. A viral social media post, published by the young woman, has been shared thousands of times and has led to a groundswell of support.
The attendance of Robinson at a protest last week was condemned by the family of the girl at the centre of the sexual assault allegations. In a statement they said: “We want to make it clear that this has nothing to do with us and we do not want him involved. We are a peaceful family, who condemns any form of racial hatred."
The N W Mail reports Tommy's arrest thus
TOMMY Robinson spent the night in police cells after he was arrested following an incident in Barrow. Cumbria Police received a call reporting an assault on a man at Hollywood Retail Park shortly after 8.30pm.
Mr Robinson was in Barrow to film a mass show of support following allegations of an Asian grooming gang in Barrow.
Mr Robinson, 37 and from the Bedfordshire area, was arrested on suspicion of assault and a public order offence.
All remain in police custody this morning.
All very much from the "somebody did something" school of modern reporting. Nothing, unlike the national newspapers including the BBC, about Tommy's flooring the man in self defence after he (Tommy) was spat at. Spitting (which was heinous in working class English circles when I was growing up) seems to be an assault of choice, with or without added coronavirus, these days.
The Daily Mail has both given Tommy's defence and researched the background.
Tommy Robinson has been arrested on suspicion of assault but told police he 'acted in self-defence' after a man spat in his face and called him a 'racist p***k'. There is Tommy's video to watch as the police arrive and before he was arrested.
Cumbria Police previously stated that they had launched a year-long investigation into claims an organised gang had trafficked girls and young women across the north of England for sex.
Detective Chief Superintendent Dean Holden insisted in a video message last month that the joint-investigation with the National Crime Agency found no evidence of grooming gangs in Barrow.
An independent review team was called in to assess their handling of the investigation and safeguarding surrounding it.
Cumbria police say there is no evidence. However the testimony of one of the young women which appeared on social media last month is quite moving, and certainly she is believed both by the inhabitants of Barrow, and former detective Maggie Oliver who worked on the Rochdale investigations and was part of the initiative that brought the abuses to public attention, at the time when the police and authorities were reluctant to risk community cohesion by prosecuting. If the local people are concerned enough to protest en masse on more than two occasions, and they are the people whose daughters will report what might be going on threatening girls locally, then I have a certain amount of faith in their judgment.
A 19-year-old girl has been charged with perverting the course of justice after telling police she was drugged and raped by an Asian sex gang in Cumbria. The teenager, from Barrow-in-Furness, is currently in custody awaiting a court hearing, having allegedly breached her bail conditions.
Last night Cumbria Police confirmed it was investigating an incident of physical and sexual abuse that was reported by a woman in her late teens on Tuesday evening.
Today the force said the only charges to arise from the investigation was against a young woman. In a statement it said: 'Cumbria Constabulary can confirm that a 19-year-old woman, from Barrow-in-Furness, is subject of ongoing criminal proceedings. She was charged with seven counts of perverting the course of justice on 26th March 2020 and was released on bail.
'She has subsequently been arrested on 20th May for breach of her bail conditions and has been remanded in custody, court date to be notified. '
In the girl's shocking social media post, she'd claimed she was put into a car on Tuesday and taken to an address so that three Asian men could have sex with her.
'Afterwards I was beaten because I was in debt to these men for not attending "parties" for over seven weeks due to coronavirus,' she wrote. 'The organisers of the party decided to beat me to teach me a lesson. They decided that I don't learn from being battered as I've received beatings before'.
She claimed her alleged abusers began to hack off one of her fingers as a punishment for 'continuing to make the same mistakes'.
One of them 'waved a knife around' while he and others in the gang threatened to kill her. The girl supported her claims with a series of photographs showing her with black eyes, bruising to both her face and body, and what appear to be cigarette burns.
Responding to the public's horror at the social media post today, Cumbria's Head of Crime and safeguarding, Det Chief Supt Dean Holden, reiterated that there had been a robust response to the allegation.
'What I would say is, when the question is asked, "Is there an organised gang of Asian men in Barrow conducting abuse or other exploitation against individuals? . . . Our investigation has shown that has not been corroborated or otherwise evidenced.. . "
The girl alleged she had been both physically and sexually abused by the gang over a number of years. She also claimed that despite the police investigation into her own case, other teenagers in the area are still being attacked and trafficked. She claimed: 'I am not the only girl in (the area) who has gone through this or is going through this. I know plenty of girls involved – including girls from away.
'This is local men and men from away. These are mostly Pakistani men and some are business owners. I wish I could name all of those involved, but due to current ongoing investigations I'm not allowed'.
'I have been to other places as well as attending "parties" locally. This is to have sex with Asian men with me receiving nothing for it'. She adds: 'These are evil yet clever men. They know how to manipulate, convince and threaten girls into staying. When they can't, they use extreme violence. . . "
Girl X insists she will continue to tell the police everything she knows so she can help them 'fix this'. She believes she deserves justice and will feel 'so proud of myself' if she can achieve it by bringing her alleged abusers to trial. She wants other girls to be aware of the issue of grooming and to remember that 'if a man asks you to keep it a secret it's usually because what he is doing is wrong'.
Feelings are running so high in Barrow that when the local newspaper's response to her allegations was to fully report her commital to prison on the charges of wasting police time and perverting the course of justice, followed by a report that the men running the local curry houses and takeaways felt nervous the Chief Reporter was accused of being in league with the alleged gang from her years in Blackburn (where there have been gangs prosecuted) and she has left the area with her children. Threats to a professional are wrong; two wrongs do not make a right, but this goes to illustrate the depth of feeling.
Thoughts: It isn't unknown for allegations of rape and assault to be made up (although somebody assaulted this young woman)
But she isn't alone in her allegations.
We know the police, CPS and Home Office have in the past refused to take such allegations seriously and have failed to prosecute to the extent of it being a cover-up. But surely Cumbria Police would have learnt by the criticism of other forces and therefore would not be making that mistake for themselves now.
Maggie Oliver was a capable and experienced detective who should remain well able to assess a witness making allegations.
Local people generally know what is going on in their own town.
I wish we still had old-school investigative criminal reporters who heard things themselves and could encourage (the most tactful word I think) the police to
i) find out who actually assaulted Girl X if it wasn't an Asian rape gang. She didn't achieve that level of bruising and cutting herself, or walking into a door. Then allay parents fears by charging him.
ii) interview the other girls also making allegations. They can't all be trying to pervert the course of justice?
iii) ask around. Who else knows what? Somebody knows.
I know while her trial is sub judice there can't be much of the investigation disclosed. But neither must the hiatus be used as an excuse to do nothing in the hope it will go away. As Tommy said in his video we need to get to the bottom of this.
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