Met Police told mother that 14-year-old daughter must report grooming offence herself

There has never been a mass child rape/prostitution case in London prosecuted on the scale of other towns. There are two such trials, both of a handful of defendants extracted for one of the lists of 25+ arrested earlier, currently underway in a Crown Court of a northern town. Reporting restrictions are rightly used for the protection of the innocent but these trials have not even been mentioned in the press as starting, even if no evidence is reported for the duration. I am watching the public list, and had best say no more.

But in London, while we hear odd mentions of a single case here and there, the demographic is that there are no estates of English working class girls from which the taxi drivers and chicken friers can take their pick en mass. Mostly, when pressed the Metropolitan Police include and subsume the Islamic rape jihad crimes in with other, also wicked, crimes against children, including the ‘County Lines’ drug running gangs. Operation Grandbye, set up to investigate a reported grooming gang operating in the McDonalds restaurant in Stratford in 2017 never resulted in any prosecutions, or none that were publicised, and the operation was absorbed into general Citysafe training.

The Telegraph and the Shropshire Star (Telford in Shropshire is another town that has suffered organised grooming rape gangs) have news this moring of a report to be released today from His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services. 

The Metropolitan Police Service is failing to effectively tackle child sexual exploitation, leaving vulnerable youngsters at risk, a watchdog has warned.

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) raised serious concerns about the force’s performance, saying it lacked understanding of the “nature and scale of child exploitation” which was a “significant barrier” to being able to address the problem.

Of 244 investigations examined, more than half were graded as inadequate.

The Met apologised to the children and families it had let down after the report and stressed it was taking “urgent” and “significant steps” so “no child is left unsafe”.

In findings published on Friday, the watchdog found the force’s response to the criminal and sexual exploitation of children was “not currently effective” and not enough was being done to protect victims.

While HMICFRS inspectors found some evidence of good work, inspectors outlined a string of “serious concerns”

A 14-year-old girl’s mother who complained to the Metropolitan Police that her daughter was being offered money for sex by an older man was told that the child would need to report the issue herself.

Officers dealing with victims of child sexual exploitation were also often found to use language implying that the children themselves were to blame for their abuse.

In one case a 14-year-old girl was described as “seeking out sex with older men”; a 15-year-old girl was referred to as “engaged in sex work”; and a 12-year-old girl who had been raped was described as “sexually active with older men”.

Inspectors said: “Worryingly, we didn’t see any evidence that supervisors or managers challenged this language. In fact, in one of our interviews with a detective inspector, they spoke of children being promiscuous.”

Making 11 recommendations for improvement, the watchdog said the Met must start to follow all reasonable lines of inquiry to identify suspects in child exploitation cases as well as step up efforts with other public bodies to stop children from going missing and find them quicker.

According to the watchdog’s report, the “negative” evidence in the inspection “far outweighed the positive”.

One senior leader told inspectors there was a “cultural issue here about how we see children”, while another said missing children were “seen as a problem”, the report said.

Some officers and staff were found describing children as “making poor choices” or putting themselves a risk, which “fails to recognise an imbalance of power with the person exploiting them or coercion that may be used to keep them away from home”. Where have we heard all this before? Rotherham. Rochdale. Manchester. 

Children’s charity the NSPCC said the report “paints a very concerning picture of the Metropolitan Police’s response to child sexual exploitation” and called on the force to bring in the “urgent and systemic changes” highlighted, adding that there also needed to be “national leadership to move the dial on how society responds to child sexual abuse”. Unfortunately the NSPCC’s record this last 25 years is such that I no longer include them as a charity to which I will donate. But that’s another matter. 

I can’t find a link to the report on line yet; I think the newspapers have advance access. That may change. The cases detailed are not bound to be Islamic gangs as the police nationally are cagy about ethnicity. Crimes must be prosecuted robustly no matter who is the perpetrator. However there seems to be less reticence to report in the news crimes commited by white British and European men.

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