Our straight talking Lancashire lass takes a sideways look at the daily news.
Sex gangs exploit vulnerability, not race
Yesterday, nine men were convicted of systematically abusing up to 47 vulnerable young girls – some as young as 13 years. All but one of the men in this paedophile ring were Asian Pakistani, one was from Afghanistan. All the victims were white. It doesn’t take a genius to figure where the focus of this trial was heading…
Now, I’m no bleeding-heart sandal-wearing liberal – what these men did was sickening and it is absolutely right that they are punished. But despite the knee-jerk ‘Hang em and flog em!’ reactions, I don’t believe this case is about race. If you look at the details, this terrible series of events was more about how prejudice will allow great evil to carry on without question.
In 2008, a 15-year-old girl was arrested after seeing her abusers and attacking them in a Heywood takeaway, near Manchester. At this point she told the police details of her ordeal. She gave the authorities hours of video testimony and DNA evidence. But her case was shelved for the simple reason that the Crown Prosecution Service – shockingly - thought that she ‘wasn’t a credible witness’.
Another young girl reported being sexually assaulted to her care worker on more than one occasion, asking to be moved out of the area. But nothing was done.
Eventually one 13-year-old girl became pregnant and had an abortion. Her teachers frog-marched social services into doing something because they were worried about the number of Asian men picking her up after school.
Eventually, social services noticed an increase in grooming cases (probably because these criminals simply weren’t being challenged) and the police re-opened the case, resulting in the Rochdale trial.
These girls were young, from dysfunctional families, they were in care, many were on drugs… they were not people who mattered. And this is key. If society didn’t value these girls, then a group of sexual predators certainly wasn’t going to. This is why these men were allowed to get away with raping vulnerable children for so long.
These men could (and did) play the racism card in court, and I think it’s reasonable to think that they preyed on white under-age girls in care as opposed to young Asian girls in their communities, purely because they could get away with it. And they very nearly did.
They deliberately targeted vulnerable young teenagers, gave them fried food, drugs and alcohol (how cheap must their lives have been?) - played ‘boyfriend’ and made them feel safe and wanted. Then defiled them in the worst way possible. But they didn’t do this because they were from Pakistan, they did it because they are manipulative, opportunistic perverts. You get paedophiles and sexual abusers in all races, cultures, religions and geographical areas.
Steve Heywood, Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester said: 'This is not a racial issue. This is about adults preying on vulnerable young children. It just happens that in this particular area and time the demographics were that these were Asian men.'
And I agree. The BNP are having a field day with this one, and the race issue is raising its ugly head. But the true focus should be on why these girls weren’t believed in the first place – and what can we do to prevent something so awful happening again?