Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.
Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham
September 5, 2014 permalink
Last month Britain was scandalized by the release of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham 1997 - 2013, Alexis Jay OBE (pdf, 153 pages). Over a thousand minors purportedly in state care were victims of sexual exploitation. The story is too large to cover on fixcas, for a quick summary refer to wikipedia. An analysis by Christopher Booker is enclosed.
Rotherham: the real scandal is much wider
There will be more tragedies unless politicians face the truth
Barely credible though we have all found the avalanche of revelations about what had been going on in Rotherham for 16 years, they reflect only one part of what has become the most horrifying scandal in modern Britain. As was documented in Easy Meat, a report earlier this year from the Law and Freedom Foundation, similar tragedies have long been unfolding in towns and cities across the land, where, with the full connivance of social workers and the police, the criminal abuse of underage girls, many in state “care”, has been organised by largely Pakistani gangs of men on an industrial scale. It has then been systematically covered up by the very people who have allowed and even encouraged this to happen: council officials, police and politicians.
If this report is right in criticising how blame has too often in the past been ascribed just to “Asians”, it is itself too casual in blaming Islam or even Pakistanis in general. Part of the problem is that many of the culprits are of Pashtun tribal stock from Kashmir, regarded as “trouble” even by many Muslims and Pakistanis.
But this particular tragedy is only one of three different legs making up a very much larger scandal. This is how our politicians have allowed our entire “child protection” system to career off the rails. The second leg of this scandal can be seen in all those familiar horror stories in which some child, such as Baby P, has eventually met with an awful death, despite social workers, police and other agencies having long known of the child’s maltreatment without taking any action. How many times have we then seen some semi-whitewashing report, urging that “lessons must be learnt”, and leaving the dysfunctional system to carry on much as before?
The third leg of this scandal, which I have long been writing about in this column, is how, rather than failing to intervene when necessary, the social workers, with full support from the police and the courts, are now also taking record numbers of children into state “care” for what too often appear to be inadequate or even blatantly fabricated reasons. This can be just as much a crime against humanity and a travesty of justice as what we’ve been learning about in Rotherham; not least because, as I hear in new cases every week, children unhappily removed from loving families are often subjected, while in “care”, to abuse that is much worse than anything alleged against their parents.
When, last week, I was asked by my editor “how can we hope to see this mess cleared up?”, I could only reply pessimistically that the whole culture of our “child protection” system has become so corrupted that it is hard to see how it can ever be returned to some semblance of decency and humanity. The “good” social workers of old have largely been driven out, to be replaced by heartless, jargon-spouting zealots who are the last people who should be involved in the life of any family. Few things have shocked me more than the way the police have become such unquestioning accomplices of this cruel system. There may be a glimmer of hope in the realisation by Lord Justice Munby, our top family court judge, that some start can be made on clearing out the Augean stables by exposing more of the work of those ultra-secretive courts to public scrutiny.
However, the ultimate responsibility for all this must lie with the politicians whose laws set up this system, but who have since turned their backs on how the system has made such a mockery of the high-minded intent that lay behind those laws.
Two years ago I reported on how Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale, disclosed in the Commons something of the horrors that had been going on in his constituency, where social workers had encouraged the mass-rape of underage girls in “care”, on the grounds that it was merely their “life choice” to become prostitutes. Not one of the many MPs who spoke in that long debate, including two ministers, picked up on what he had said, as, one after another, they applauded a new government move to speed up the number of children being taken into “care”.
Until a great many more MPs are prepared to join Mr Danczuk and the admirable John Hemming in getting seriously engaged with this issue, this terrifying tragedy, in all its different manifestations, will continue.
Source: Telegraph (UK)
Addendum: Christopher Booker comments again:
Rotherham is yet another massive failure by our social workers
Warnings from local youth workers had been ignored for years
Among the few people who come out well from the scarcely believable mass-child abuse scandal in Rotherham are Louise Casey, the author of last week’s chilling report, and Sarah Champion, the town’s Labour MP, who rightly described the report as revealing “a new horror on every page”.
Pretty much everyone else in this dismal saga couldn’t have come out worse, from the councillors “in denial” to the police.
What might have merited rather more coverage, however, was the terrifying part played by the social workers in Rotherham, who had been ignoring warnings from local “youth workers” since 2002.
Casey describes how these workers seemed interested only in abuse allegedly taking place within families in the town. They were not concerned by the far worse crimes perpetrated on 1,400 girls by gangs of outsiders.
But even Casey does not focus on how many of these girls were in council “care” (according to earlier reports as many as a third), making the council directly responsible for them.
It was a similar story in Rochdale, Oxford and elsewhere: in the wholesale degradation of our “child protection” system, these horror stories now rank alongside those of “Baby P” and Victoria Climbié as examples of social workers failing to intervene when their intervention was cried out for.
Just as tragic, though, are those cases in which social workers fail in precisely the opposite direction – when they use their power to wrench thousands of children from their parents every year for no good reason at all (often for the children to be abused in “care” to a far worse degree than anything allegedly done by the parents).
One day this scandal will be recognised for being just as horrifying as those that have provoked some of the most shocking headlines of recent years.
Source: Telegraph (UK)