Muslim Community In 'Denial' About Grooming Rings, Says Jack Straw
Members of the British Asian community are in "denial" about the issue of men of Pak origin grooming white girls for sex, the former Home Secretary Jack Straw has claimed.
He said that the scandal, exposed by the trial of nine Asian men placed in long-term storage
Maw! They're comin' to get me, Maw!
for grooming and sexual abuse of white girls in Rochdale, raised a problem which had to be "faced and addressed" within some communities in northern cities.
He was speaking after a damning report into the handling of abuse allegations in Rochdale by social workers, police and the Crown Prosecution Service which highlighted a catalogue of failing and "missed opportunities".
The study, by the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children's Board, found that social workers repeatedly failed to take action in response to complaints from under-age girls who had fallen into the grip of a paedophile ring.
Rather than being treated as victims, they were viewed as "problematic" and "wilfull" and thought to be "making their own choices".
Yesterday lawyers for several of the victims disclosed that they are planning to bring legal action against social services for the failure to protect them.
Another lawyer disclosed that he is preparing a case involving alleged abuse of one girl in seven separate cities stretching across the North West of England but also as far away as Wolverhampton.
The alleged abuse follows a similar pattern: involving grooming rings dominated by men from Pak backgrounds, who are often taxi drivers, picking up girls and taking them to flats for sex with several men.
Mr Straw, whose Blackburn and Darwen constituency in Lancashire has a large Asian population, has angered some sections of the Mohammedan community in the past by calling for women to remove veils which cover their faces.
Last year he also warned that white girls are sometimes treated as "easy meat" for some young Asian men who are "fizzing and popping with testosterone" but had no "outlet" within their own community.
Speaking after the publication of the report yesterday, he dismissed claims that the problems uncovered by the Rochdale report affected all communities.
"There is an issue of ethnicity here which can't be ignored," he told BBC Radio 4.
"It is true to say ... that overall if you go into the sex offenders wings of prisons there are proportionally more white offenders than Asian offenders or black and we have got to deal with that separately.
"But it is also correct that in terms of group grooming there is an ethnic dimension which typically is of Asian men on white girls.
"And that is an issue which has to be faced and addressed within the Asian community about what's going on there.
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