Grooming gang convictions '84% Asian', say researchers | 2017-12-16 |

Grooming gang convictions '84% Asian', say researchers

Sky News     16th December, 2017 01:41:47 printer

Grooming gang convictions '84% Asian', say researchers

British-Pakistani researchers have found that 84% of all people convicted since 2005 for the specific crime of gang grooming were Asian.


The Quilliam Foundation found that the demographic background of those who exploit youngsters in a paedophile ring was different to those who act in grooming gangs.


According to the most recent figures, released in 2012 by the National Crime Agency's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP), 100% of child sex offenders in paedophile rings were white.


The report says CEOP, an official government body, identifies two types of group-based child sexual exploitation offenders.


Type 1 offenders were those that targeted their victims based on their vulnerability (roughly equivalent of grooming gangs), whereas Type 2 offenders target children as a result of a specific sexual interest in children (roughly equivalent of paedophile rings).


CEOP found that 75% of Type 1 offenders were of Asian ethnicity, whereas 100% of Type 2 offenders were white.


In a number of cities across the UK, gangs of predominantly British Pakistani men have been convicted for targeting vulnerable white young women and girls.


Questions have been raised about the connections between ethnicity and the offenders, and two British-Pakistani researchers from the Quilliam Foundation have said that the link is important.


The Foundation, a think-tank which usually focuses on extremism, has chosen to add its voice to the debate with what it describes as an evidence-based view.


The charity Crop says the response to child exploitation has been 'patchy'.


Quilliam's researchers found 264 people have been convicted for the specific crime of gang grooming since 2005, and of those offenders 222 or 84% were Asian.


The report's co-author, Haras Rafiq, spoke to Sky News from his home in Rochdale, one town where members of a sex ring of predominantly British-Pakistani men were jailed for child sexual abuse in 2012.


"I'm from the heart of where one of the biggest high profile cases have happened over the last few years, and I'm saying it's very important that we do talk about it because the problem won't go away," he said.


"We didn't want there to be a pattern of people from our ethnic demographic carrying out these attacks. But unfortunately we were proven wrong."


High profile cases like Rochdale have generated negative headlines about the Asian community.

The most recent case in Newcastle changed the debate after 17 men and one woman were convicted of nearly 100 offences, and the judge said the grooming wasn't racially motivated.


Following the judgment, Mike Penning MP wrote to the Attorney General calling for a review.


Nazir Afzal, who is credited with tackling the issue during his time as Chief Crown Prosecutor in the North West, warned the issue of 'Asian' grooming gangs is being used as a recruitment tool by the far-right.


"British white men they tend to work individually. They tend to work online where they groom and they are the majority of perpetrators. When it comes to Asian men or Pakistani men they tend to do it in groups," Afzal said.