Government response to petition calling for the report into the background of the rape abuse gangs (grooming) to be made public.

In February, prior to the Covid 19 emergency readers might remember I posted about the apparent suppression of the British government commissioned report into the “characteristics” of the grooming gangs. That’s a polite way of pondering why they are usually Muslim and frequently but not exclusively  Pakistani Muslim (hence the euphemism ‘Asian’)

In short in 2018 when Sajid Javid was Home Secretary he commissoned the report saying ““I will not let cultural or political sensitivities get in the way of understanding the problem and doing something about it,” he said at the time. “We know that in these recent high profile cases, where people convicted have been disproportionately from a Pakistani background. . . ” He moved to the Treasury and the report, while completed was not released as the Home Office said it would only be used for ‘internal policy making’ 

Priti Patel became Home Secretary and was apparently very angry that even she, the senior minister responsible, was denied sight of a copy. She expressed her anger with what she (and most of the public) saw as incompetent (at best) or biased with their own agenda (more likely) Civil Servants and was herself attacked and accused of bullying. 

Meanwhile a public petition was launched. It asked;

The Government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.

We, the British public, demand the release of the official research on grooming gangs undertaken by the Government in full.

So far it has nearly 122,000 signatures and over 4 months still to run; 100,000 or more signatures and Parliament could (should!) debate the issue. Last week the government issued the response. Probably hoping that everybody is so concerned with Covid 19, the lockdown, isolation, queues, furloughing and loss of jobs that we won’t notice. Wrong!

The response is not satisfactory. To sumarise the response is that –  child abuse is a terrible thing. Lots of people of all sorts commit this terrible crime  so we have spent lots of money and done lots of stuff to stop them. Just not openly.

It is right, proper and routine for the Government to carry out internal fact-finding work as part of policy development, as we do across a range of crime threats. Any insights gained from this important internal work will be used to inform our future action to end this devastating abuse, including the forthcoming Strategy.

They have reviewed existing literature, taken note of public outrage and have learnt from mistakes. The end. 

We haven’t forgotten, and while other business may be coming second for the moment, but not forever.