Police knew grooming gangs were targeting Birmingham schools five years ago but did not alert public

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From the Birmingham Mail

West Midlands Police knew five years ago that Asian grooming gangs were targeting children outside schools across the city – but failed to make the threat public.Documents obtained by the Birmingham Mail show the force were aware pupils were at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE) back in 2010.

The confidential report, obtained under a Freedom of Information Act, also shows police were worried about community tensions if the abuse from predominantly Pakistani grooming gangs was made public. The West Midlands Police document entitled Problem Profile, Operation Protection is from March 2010 and highlights how grooming had been directed specifically at schools and children’s homes.

In one heavily redacted passage, entitled ‘Schools’, it states: “In (redacted) a teacher at a (redacted) that a group of Asian males were approaching pupils at the school gate and grooming them. Strong anecdotal evidence shows this MO (modus operandi) is being used across the force.”

The Birmingham Mail is unaware of any police public appeals or warnings from that time.

The 2010 report also reveals children’s homes were being targeted by gangs who used victims to target other girls. 

The report said: “The vast majority of identified suspects (79 per cent) are Asian (59 of 75), 12 per cent are white and 5 per cent are African Caribbean. 62 per cent of Asian suspects are of Pakistani origin. Pakistani males account for half of all identified suspects in the force (37 of 75).”

In another heavily redacted section about grooming in Coventry the report said that an organised crime gang was ‘‘actively grooming and abusing victims across the force in Coventry hotel rooms.’’

The report also highlighted potential ‘community tensions’ which the CSE problems could lead to.

It said: “The predominant offender profile of Pakistani Muslim males… combined with the predominant victim profile of white females has the potential to cause significant community tensions. . . There is a potential for a backlash against the vast majority of law abiding citizens from Asian/Pakistani communities from other members of the community believing their children have been exploited. These factors, combined with an EDL protest in Dudley in April and a general election in May could notably increase community tension. . . “

Assistant Chief Constable Carl Foulkes had said last night: “These reports, spanning six years, give a real insight into the journey we have undertaken along with our partners into investigating and tackling child sexual exploitation. There is no doubt that there has been a significant cultural change within the force in respect of this issue and it is now very clear that the responsibility of tackling CSE lies with every police officer, staff member, PCSO and special constable. . . “

Ah, yes, the old ‘lessons have been learned’ excuse. 

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