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Most UK girl child abusers are British Pakistanis

horrifying trend is spreading like a virus through parts of Britain. Each year, thousands of children, often as young as 11, are being drawn into the revolting but burgeoning world of child-sex exploitation (CSE).

The precise number of young girls and boys who are being used to sell sex will never be known. As Barnado's, the leading children's charity says, "For victims, the pain of their ordeal and fear that they will not be believed means they are too often scared to come forward". But even the official figures reveal how widespread the sickness is: over 6,000 victims were identified by police in the last year, an increase of 1,000 over the previous year.

For almost a decade, the authorities have been aware that an unequivocal pattern has emerged about the perpetrators of these crimes. Yet, extraordinarily, for years, the authorities refused even to acknowledge the facts. Why? Because a vastly disproportionate number of the criminals are British Pakistanis.

When, eight years ago Ann Cryer, then an MP for a North Yorkshire constituency, spoke out on this issue, she was accused of stereotyping British Pakistanis, of vilifying an entire community, of promoting racial hatred. "It was a sensitive subject" the Times reports, "immediately leapt upon by supporters of the far Right as a way to sow hatred between white and non-white communities".

Yet, as a courageous Times investigation uncovered, the statistics speak for themselves. As the Times monitored the CSE cases brought to prosecution in Northern England alone, it established that "each was a one-off prosecution but there was a pattern. The girls were always aged between 11 and 16... And the men? Reading the names, there was something of a pattern there as well... Most of the 56 convicted men were British Pakistanis."

Preying upon vulnerable young children is disturbingly easy. Typically, initial contact is made in a public place: a shopping centre, a bus station or even outside school gates. Many, but by no means all, of the victims as Barnado's reports, "have experienced abandonment or have suffered from physical and mental abuse. They need help but don't know where to look." That is where their "groomers" step in. They lavish their victims with attention and tempt them with gifts. In time, the children are seduced into a seemingly romantic relationship with their older "boyfriend". Drugs and alcohol are also supplied until the children fall completely in thrall to their seducers.

The reality is that their "boyfriends" are pimps, grooming them for prostitution. But by this stage, totally in thrall, the children do not realise it. When they do and try and break free, they are frequently threatened with violence.

As happened to 13-year-old Abigail Wilson. One Sunday morning, the Times reports, Abigail's father went to get his car out of his garage. When he looked up at the front of his house, he saw it was defaced with graffiti proclaiming: "Abigail is a filthy little whore."

"Placards bearing similar messages had been nailed to shop doorways in the area," the newspaper reports. "Cards providing the child's name and home number were left in phone boxes declaring that she offered sexual 'services'. Her parents knew what this was: revenge."

For months, Abigail had been in the clutches of a British Pakistani gang, who were using her as a prostitute. "From the age of 12 she had been groomed, manipulated, abused and passed around different men like an object," the Times reports, "It hadn't happened overnight, of course. The grooming had been gradual — Abigail had thought these people were her friends".

Because Abigail's parents fought back, including by frequently alerting the police (who, incredibly simply classified her as a typical "runaway"), Abigail was now being publicly humiliated. But to this day no one has been punished for abusing her.

The Times launched a campaign highlighting what the authorities were reluctant to acknowledge — the elephant in the room. The government, finally prodded into action, ordered a six-month nationwide assessment of street grooming, which was published this summer. It drew no conclusions about ethnicity, claiming that the data was "too inconsistent".

Yet, buried inside "was the fact that in a country that is 88% white and 6% Asian, the 753 offenders whose ethnicity was known were 49% white and 46% Asian". Although white British and many ethnic races have all been linked with CSE gangs, the Times reports that "most identified networks in the North have involved British Pakistanis". The newspaper adds, "A disturbing mindset has developed among a criminal sub-section of young men from the British Pakistani community. It has normalised the dehumanising use and abuse of young teenage girls."

UK police forces maintain that ethnicity is irrelevant because "we treat every offence on its own merits". Yet, as the Times comments, as "with any other type of crime, if a pattern like this were punching them in the face they would be urgently seeking to understand why. Without that knowledge, how can you put in place effective prevention measures?"

Leaders of British Pakistani communities have begun taking cognizance. In West Yorkshire, for instance, they are holding workshops that aim to tackle "the absolute crisis in our community" caused by crimes that "disgrace Islam".

Now, finally, the government has taken notice. The Children's Minister, Tim Loughton, said last week that in some parts of the country, British Pakistanis were targeting white girls and there was no point in "sweeping it under the carpet". Announcing a series of measures to crack down on the perverts, Loughton said, "Trying to be in denial about the involvement, about any particular ethnic group, will not help the victims. There should not be political correctness around the perpetrators".

In turn, the authorities have begun to realise that political correctness, the desire to not offend or stigmatise an ethnic community, has spectacularly ricocheted, allowing a disgusting form of abuse to become almost endemic in swathes of the country.

Like Abigail, many victims of CSE will be left permanently scarred by their experiences. But now, perhaps, there will be hope for all those children who would otherwise have fallen prey to perverted men.

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