As you will recall Tommy Robinson was found guilty again of Contempt of Court last week and he will be sentenced again tomorrow. A large number of his supporters gathered outside the Central Criminal Court Old Bailey over those two days and while the bus used as a platform for speeches was booked by a cackling traffic warden many interesting people spoke on his behalf. One of these was a victim of grooming, another a former police officer who brought to the attention of the public something I (and many others) had missed last year which was a brief BBC interview with Nazir Afzal during the Radio 4 PM programme.
Nazir Afzal, a solicitor, became the Chief Prosecutor of the North West in 2011 and he, being of Pakistani heritage, didn’t suffer from the political correctness that had stopped earlier prosecutions of the Muslim rape/grooming gangs. He was vigorous in the prosecution of the Rochdale gangs. Since leaving the CPS he speaks widely on the subject of violence against women, FGM and other issues particularly how Muslim women suffer in their own families at the hands of family members. He has to abide by certain rules of liberal correctness, for the sake of his own family if not his own safety, but overall I rather admire him; I think he’s a decent man.
In this interview which took place on 19th October 2018 Mr Afzal said,
“You may not know this, but back in 2008, the Home Office sent a circular to all Police forces in the country saying, ‘As far as these young girls who are being exploited in towns and cities, we beieve that they have made an informed choice about their sexual behaviour and therefore it is not for you police officers to get involved in’
If that’s the landscape coming from the top down in 2008, rest assured all agencies are going to listen to it.”
The BBC’s own official web page for the Radio 4 PM programme has a short clip from the interview available – his last sentence when he reminds the listener that not all sex abusers are Muslim (in the most recent case one of the participants was born a Sikh), it is MEN that abuse. Nothing about his comments re Home Office directions and police incompetence.
An activist did some research and has found the interview in its entireity (it is less than 5 minutes long) and he has put it on you tube. This is the whole interview. The passage I quote above is at 2.08 minutes into the recording. There is a short version here.
At that date, 2008, it was a Labour Government; the Prime Minister was Gordon Brown, the Home Secretary was Jackie Smith and Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice was Jack Straw who had just purged his department of over 1000 old-school incorruptible officials to be replaced by inexperienced young people recruited according to diversity criteria.
One person who did notice this admission of Home Office cover up was London Assembly member Peter Whittle who at that time was for UKIP. He is now an independent. He asked an official question at Ministers Question time the following month. He asked
BBC Radio 4 reported in their PM programme on 19 October 2018 that in 2008, the Home Office sent a circular to all police forces in the country stating: “as far as these young girls who are being exploited in towns and cities, we believe they have made an informed choice about their sexual behaviour and therefore it is not for police officers to get involved in.” a) Did the Metropolitan Police receive this letter? b) Were any investigations closed down in response to this letter? c) Did the Metropolitan Police ever receive a letter from the Home Office at a later date rescinding this order not to get involved in investigating the rape gangs (so called grooming gangs) and what did this letter say? And d) What other correspondence has the Metropolitan Police received from the Home Office dictating how they should proceed in investigating the rape gangs (so-called grooming gangs)?
He got his answer just after Christmas.
Without further details the Met Police is unable to identify the Home Office circular from 2008 referred to nor the letter in question. Therefore, they cannot state whether any investigations were closed down in response to the letter or whether any order in the letter was later rescinded.
The terms ‘Rape gangs’ and ‘grooming gangs’ are not legally recognised and do not appear in MPS policy
…CSE being identified as a National Threat in 2015… CSE Strategic Governance Board oversees the local implementation of the Action Plan.
Which isn’t very impressive. I always said that documents were destroyed too soon, but I was looking at things from a historian’s perspective then. I suppose 10 years later finding a single memo is unlikely, but closing an active investigation, especially if it had a chance of success would be remembered. The answer smacks of ‘couldn’t care less’. We don’t use that term, so we wouldn’t have anything relating to that term – now go away.
The situation in London is thought provoking. In a city of 8 million people it must be happening.
East European women are trafficed by Albania gangs – this we know. Some women in nail bars are brought in from much further east under conditions of modern slavery. There are police initiatives to deal with this and I have no doubt that they are working actively. The ‘County lines’ abuse of young people of both sexes to work as drug trade couriers is a significant problem, but again one that is recognised.
But the demographics of London are such that there are few white working class estates with a nice pool of vulnerable white girls from which the taxi drivers and kebab fryers could take their pick. So it happens with one girl here, and another girl there.
In Tower Hamlets last year a kebab shop was closed to prevent a sex party , but no more information was made public. From the East London Advertiser
The Met’s Sexual Exploitation Team tipped off Tower Hamlets Police about an alleged “child sex party”, known as an “uck party”, which they said they believed was planned to take place at the business premises. Uck parties involve young girls being plied with alcohol and drugs before having sex with older men, according to detectives…
A Met spokeswoman confirmed officers had attended the kebab shop and closed the event.
A year before in autumn 2017 in Stratford near the Olympic Park the Metro reported that
Four girls between the ages of 13 and 15 have reported being raped by a grooming gang who operate from a McDonald’s restaurant in Stratford, east London. Three boys and three men have been arrested after a police crackdown on the site identified at least 30 other potential victims.
Detectives believe that number will grow as they appeal for others to come forward. Operation Grandbye was launched in November after the four victims came forward separately in Newham.
In March 2018 Peter Whittle asked for an update on Operation Grandbye at Ministers Question time. He was told that the police were maintaining a presence in the area and training retailers.
He asked again in June, with an answer in August.
Operation Grandbye has been successful in disrupting perpetrators through a number of arrests and civil orders. The MPS will continue to monitor the impact of the operation. .. monitor local intelligence . . . working with Citizen’s UK to roll out Citysafe training
In other words, we are not prosecuting anybody. I can’t find anything happening about the complaints since.
The Metropolitan Police then tried to see if hotel staff are aware of the potential problem by operating almost a sting operation according to the Independent.
Police officers and teenagers posing as grooming gangs and their victims have been attempting to book hotel rooms across London to test whether staff are spotting the signs of abuse. The undercover operation saw officers turn up with young cadets – who can be aged between 10 and 21 – carrying large amounts of alcohol. They then tried to pay for rooms in cash and without offering identification.
“The hope was that staff working on reception at the venue would recognise the warning signs, refuse to rent out the room and contact police,” the Metropolitan Police said, but would not give information on how many hotels passed the test.
The week-long operation aimed to ensure they had passed on guidance on spotting groomers, who are known to use hotels to commit offences, as in high-profile cases in Rochdale, Oxford and Newcastle.
Chief Superintendent Helen Millichap, Scotland Yard’s lead for child sexual exploitation, said the phenomenon remains underreported and that police rely on members of the public being alert to warning signs.
So they do know it’s going on. We will continue to keep alert. But at the moment the almost daily stabbings are causing the most concern.