Tim Dieppe comments on how the long-awaited report in to grooming gangs in Telford studiously avoids discussing the Islamic connection.
The long-awaited Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Telford was published on Tuesday this week. Almost as if to justify the long wait, the report is fully 1,249 pages long, and produced in four volumes. The ‘Executive Summary’ alone stretches to 114 pages – surely some kind of record for the length of an ‘executive summary’.
The scale of the abuse
The Sunday Mirror was first to break the news in 2016 about grooming gangs in Telford, claiming that Telford had the “highest child sex crime rate in the country” with 15.1 crimes reported per 100,000 in the year to September 2015. Later, in 2018, The Mirror reported that “up to 1,000 girls, some as young as 11 [were] groomed and sold for sex” in the town.
The Inquiry report validates these numbers, stating:
“the estimate of victim/survivor numbers exceeding 1,000 was considered conservative, or in the words of one witness ‘tame’.”
“it is clear to me that this type of exploitation dates back at least to the 1970s.”
Which is approaching 50 years of grooming gangs! This is actually generational abuse:
“I saw references to exploitation being ‘generational’; having come to be regarded as ‘normal’ by perpetrators and inevitable by victims and survivors some of whose parents had been through similar experiences.”
And it continues to this day, up and down the country.
As recently as 2019, it was reported that 19,000 children had been sexually groomed across the UK in one year. A rough calculation of 20,000 girls per year for 40 years would mean that there are some 800,000 grooming gang victims in total. Indeed, Sarah Champion, MP for Rochdale, has estimated that there could be a million victims. Each victim was raped dozens of times, so we are certainly looking at many millions of rapes over 50 years.
The Inquiry report quotes from several police reports. Here’s a representative example:
“ … [two named children] are visited daily by a group of Asian youths aged 20-25 yrs from Birmingham. [The] house is a magnet for local dropouts and mispers. The house has no furniture except a mattress in every room …. The Asian youths are giving the girls drugs & having sex with them, the majority of whom are under-age …”
It is clear then, from this and much other evidence, that the police were fully aware of what was going on. And yet, in this case, as in so many others no action was taken.
The report concludes that this was deliberate:
“The inevitable conclusion from these two findings is that decisions were made that these matters should not be investigated.”
And that a culture of not investigating became established:
“I am accordingly driven to the firm conclusion that the culture of not investigating what was regarded as ‘child prostitution’ was still very much in force …”
Race, but not religion
The report does conclude that the vast majority of perpetrators were ‘Asian’ or ‘Pakistani’:
“it is an undeniable fact that a high proportion of those cases involved perpetrators that were described by victims/survivors and others as being ‘Asian’ or, often ‘Pakistani’. … The evidence plainly shows that the majority of CSE suspects in Telford during my Terms of Reference were men of southern Asian heritage, including all the men convicted in Chalice, and Operations Delta and Epsilon.”
And yet, there is very little mention of religion in the whole report.
The only reference to ‘Islam’ that I can find in the whole report occurs on page 1186 in Appendix F where recommendations made in a 2016 review of CSE in Telford and Wrekin are quoted in full. One of the recommendations quoted suggested engaging “with Shropshire Islamic Foundation to explore opportunities for joint working to tackle CSE.”
A search for ‘Muslim’ did find a handful references. Most tellingly:
“A WMP representative expressed the view that the ‘elephant in the room’ is that ‘it all appears to revolve around young Muslim men as they are the main perpetrators working in gangs/groups’”
“In the aftermath of Chalice, local Muslims had felt somewhat ‘targeted’ and ‘isolated’.”
The Inquiry heard that:
“… once Chalice had kicked off the community were up in arms about the arrests that were made and how the Pakistani and Muslim community had been targeted by the Police – this is the Police getting their own back on them.”
In spite of this revealing evidence, the role of religion is studiously ignored in the report. The author washes his hands of trying to understand the motives of the perpetrators:
“No perpetrator of CSE has volunteered evidence to the Inquiry; there is no evidence to assist me in determining why they committed acts of sexual exploitation.”
Nervousness about race
Police failure is put down partly to blaming the victims, and partly to nervousness about race:
“I have heard a great deal of evidence … that children involved in ‘prostitution’ were widely regarded as making unwise life choices, rather than being seen as victims of exploitation. I have also seen a great deal of evidence that there was a nervousness about race in Telford and Wellington in particular, bordering on a reluctance to investigate crimes committed by what was described as the ‘Asian’ community. I accept the evidence I have heard on these points and consider it likely that each of these considerations featured in this most abject failure.”
As a result, the perpetrators were emboldened:
“The reality is though that WMP did turn a blind eye, and chose not to see what was obvious. I am certain that the absence of police action emboldens offenders; and I am certain that perpetrators of CSE were bold and open in their offending during the late 1990s and early 2000s.”
One victim speaks out – the Islamic connection
One Telford victim wrote a book Telford Girl, about her experiences of abuse. Here’s some of what she writes (in plain, blunt language. NB: her language may cause some offence):
“I’m not that young stupid little white trash girl that everyone called or labelled me once upon a time when they saw me as a burden or a pain in the backside for trying my best by asking for countless help and assistance on so many occasions in my young life when I was most seriously vulnerable and at risk of being groomed and having my insides ripped out by so many Muslim NOT Asian like the BBC or Left wing media keep fobbing everyone off with…
“These monsters had me round their little finger and they made me their white slave who would do anything for them, but wouldn’t you if you faced death? A slapping down? A knife held to your throat? A gun pressed tightly to your head so hard that you thought it would go off at any minute?
“Many men from the Muslim world would pray openly in the next room to where they raped me and they found this practice acceptable which I couldn’t understand.
“Somehow I would always get sucked back into what I now call ‘the pit of horror and shit’ where I would be forced to be some Muslim man’s wife, become his slave, and just get repeatedly tortured on a daily basis by him and his friends and family and be made to think it was the norm.”
It is clear from this testimony that Islam was a key factor in Telford, and that the perpetrators were Muslims. There are several other testimonies, from other grooming gang victims, that demonstrate the Islamic nature of these gangs. I have personally met ‘Sarah’ who was subjected to several forced Islamic marriages and eight involuntary abortions at the hands of an Islamic grooming gang.
I have written before about how Islamic teaching can be used to justify abuse of sex slaves, which is well-attested throughout Islamic history and, of course, still today by groups like Boko Haram, or ISIS, or indeed UK grooming gangs. And yet this factor is studiously ignored by the Inquiry and the media today.
While they are happy to say that fear of racism was a factor in causing authorities to turn a blind eye to this abuse, they still refuse to name fear of Islamophobia as a root cause of our sacrificing of young girls on the altar of political correctness.
Many of the perpetrators were taxi drivers. They would brazenly pick up the girls from school:
“The Inquiry has heard that at this early stage children would often be picked up from the schools by men in cars – some taxis – at the end of the day and even during lunch breaks. I understand it was even known for the perpetrators to enter the school grounds.”
Taxis are meant to be licensed, but a decision was made in 2006 not to enforce licensing of taxis. This comes in for harsh criticism:
“In my view, the 2006 decision to suspend licensing enforcement was a disastrous one. On the material I have seen it was borne entirely out of fear of accusations of racism; it was craven.”
Once again, this key decision was made out of fears of accusations of racism, but with no fear for the impact on the lives of young girls.
One witness is quoted as saying:
“a group of men were being allowed to get away with breaking the law, Regent Street at the time was seen as a no-go area, it was creating a lot of problems and as a result there were young people who were feeling that, young Pakistani boys were feeling they were above the law and could do whatever the hell they wanted, and nothing else mattered. And if you were not known in that area and you came to that area, you would be intimidated. There was a gang mentality that ‘this is our patch’ and you stay off the patch’.”
The report does not attempt to critique this evidence or dismiss it, although it does so with some other evidence. Therefore, the report acknowledges that there was a ‘no-go area’ in Telford, ruled by gangs.
Back in 2000, 16-year-old abuse victim Lucy Lowe was killed along with her mother and sister and her unborn child when her 26 year-old abuser, Azhar Ali Mehmood, set fire to their house. The fact that she and her close family members were killed by her abuser was well-known in the area.
The report says that:
“Abusers would remind girls of what had happened to Lucy Lowe and would tell them that they would be next if they ever said anything. Every boy would mention it.”
The report cites evidence from one school that:
“Every single one [of] our girls that was involved with the Pakistani community in any kind of part of their lives that we might be concerned about, and might be talking to them about, they were all clamming up big time because … Lucy had lost her life. And they knew …”
In this way, victims were intimidated to continue with the abuse.
“In other cases, children were ‘set up’ by the perpetrators – for example, the perpetrator would drive the child to a remote location and threaten to maroon them unless they gave ‘payment’ in the form of sexual acts. Other children had sexual activity forced upon them, when they had no chance of escape.”
This is just one town
Let’s remember that this is just one town. There are dozens of other towns where similar stories could be told.
Let’s remember too, that not one police officer has been fired for incompetence, or for prioritising political correctness over the lives of young girls. The same applies to social workers and councillors.
While political correctness reigns, this abuse will continue. While people are afraid of accusations of racism or Islamophobia, perpetrators will act with impunity. While there continues to be a conspiracy of silence about the Islamic connection, we can expect these grooming gangs to continue to ruin lives.
I am sorry to say that we are still sacrificing girls on the altar of political correctness.