"child sexual exploitation (CSE) offenders are most commonly white"
UK Home Office has come out with a report that effaces the stereotype that Pakistani men are behind ‘grooming gangs’ that exploit white girls in the UK.
Home Office’s report says that there is no definitive proof that the bulk of child sexual exploitation is carried out by Pakistani men living in the UK.
Several papers and tabloids like The Times, Express and Daily Mail have reported for several years that these crimes are perpetrated by South Asian men of Pakistani origin.
The far-right media claims that Pakistani men are behind this due to the patriarchal views and male attitudes within their culture.
However, the Home Office conducted a study for two years which concludes there is no solid ground to link Pakistani men to these heinous crimes.
The uproar against Pakistani men is because most of the sexual exploitation cases reported are from Oxford, Telford, Rochdale and Sheffield.
These areas are inhabited mostly by those from a Pakistani background and especially those men who often work in takeaways or own taxis.
In contrast to the tabloids’ claims, the Home Office observed:
“..group-based offenders are most commonly white”.
The whole fiasco over Pakistanis being involved in these crimes against white girls began in 2011.
The Times had reported that there is a certain ethnicity related angle in these crimes.
This theory was then taken forward by an anti-extremist Thinktank in 2017 called Quilliam Foundation.
In their report titled ‘Group Based Child Sexual Exploitation: Dissecting Grooming Gangs’, they concluded:
“We began thinking we would debunk the media narrative that Asians are over-represented in this specific crime.
“But, when the final numbers came in we were alarmed and dismayed.
Both the two authors of the report are of Pakistani 0rigin. One of them, Muna Adil said:
“For both of us being of Pakistani heritage, this issue is deeply personal and deeply disturbing”
Their study claims that Pakistani-origin men found it hard to fit into British society.
This is the reason they target white girls and sexually abuse them using alcohol and drugs.
Their report raised an alarm when they concluded that 84 per cent of convicted men were of Asian-origin; mostly of Pakistani heritage.
In 2011, Former home secretary and Blackburn MP Jack Straw blamed some Pakistani men in Britain for these crimes.
He accused them of thinking of white girls as “easy meat”.
Debunking these claims, the Home Office report said that a mix of power, patriarchy, sexism, opportunity and disregard for women and children, was behind these crimes.
“A sexual interest in children is not always the predominant motive,” it revealed.
“Financial gain and a desire for sexual gratification are common motives and misogyny and disregard for women and girls may further enable the abuse.”
The report also concluded that factors like culture, religion, race, and immigration cannot be blamed for these atrocities.
The Home Office had initially rejected a Freedom of Information request by The Independent, saying their report would not be in the “public interest”.
But after 130,000 people petitioned for the release of the report, the Home Office made it public.
Outcome of Research
The research, originally promised by Sajid Javid in 2018, was published on December 15, 2020.
The study says that despite the involvement of Pakistani men in several ‘sex grooming’ cases, a link between ethnicity and these offences cannot be established.
The Home Office pointed out:
“Research has found that group-based child sexual exploitation (CSE) offenders are most commonly white
“Some studies suggest an over-representation of black and Asian offenders relative to the demographics of national populations.
“However, it is not possible to conclude that this is representative of all group-based CSE offending.”
The Home Office report also pointed to “potential for bias and inaccuracies” in the data revealed earlier by some publications.
The identified victims of these crimes have mostly been girls aged 14-17, the report states.
Thes girls generally have broken homes, health issues and drug addiction.
The Home Office also said that suspects in these cases belong to different ethnic backgrounds.
These include American, British, Bulgarian, Romanian, Somali, Portuguese, Bangladesi, Indian, Jamaican, Lithuanian Dutch and Pakistani among others.
According to them, this data clearly shows that a particular ethnicity cannot be linked to these child sex crimes.
Based on their findings and inaccuracies in the existing data, the report also said:
“..it seems most likely that the ethnicity of group-based CSE offenders is in line with child sexual abuse more generally and with the general population
“..with the majority of offenders being white.”
The far-right publications suggested that a“highly organised national network” of Pakistani-origin men conducted a well-planned series of child sex crimes in various areas.
However, the research document mentioned that such abuse “can happen anywhere”.
The Home Office undertook a comprehensive study to get to the bottom of the issue.
They reviewed published evidence on grooming gangs, interviewed police officers and did original research.
They also studied old, independently published reports and investigations from Rotherham and other important cases.
The work was also aided by an external reference group that included survivors and independent experts.
Commenting on the report, Sarah Champion, the MP for Rotherham, who was part of the external reference group, said:
“The government needs to promote a shift in focus to prevention and early intervention
“They need to closely monitor the effectiveness of local safeguarding partnerships, rather than seemingly taking this horrendous crime as inevitable.”
The home secretary, Priti Patel, also commented on the report:
“Victims and survivors of group-based child sexual exploitation have told me how they were let down by the state in the name of political correctness.
“What happened to these children remains one of the biggest stains on our country’s conscience.”
Ms Patel also said that a Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy is being devised.
It would help to understand ethnicity-related child sexual abuse better and empower authorities to protect the children.
It will “restore the public’s confidence in the criminal justice system’s ability to confront this issue”, she added.
The full report is available to download here.