Over 800 grooming gang offenders in Greater Manchester alone

23 March 2021

Head of Public Policy, Tim Dieppe, comments on the news that Greater Manchester Police have a new unit dedicated to focusing on grooming gangs.

Greater Manchester Police announced last week that it has launched a dedicated child sexual exploitation (CSE) unit consisting of 54 police officers and staff. The new unit will commit resources and skills to “investigating large scale and complex CSE investigations.” I assume that this is badly worded and that it will not merely ‘investigate investigations’.

The unit will also “have strategic oversight of all multi-victim/multi-suspect CSE investigations taking place across Greater Manchester.” This ‘multi-victim/multi suspect CSE’ language is code for ‘grooming gangs’. It is good to see Greater Manchester Police dedicating resources to addressing this problem, but it has taken decades to get to this point.

Victims failed by police

This follows an announcement last year that three former police officers that led an inquiry into child sex grooming in Greater Manchester Police were being investigated. A report about CSE in Greater Manchester found that the police were aware in 2003 of at least 57 white girls aged 12-16 years old who were known to be having sex with older ‘Asian’ men, often against their will. Nearly 100 persons were found to be involved in this sexual exploitation. The police, however, were focused on trying to find other ethnicities to arrest rather than dealing with the offenders they knew about.

Over 800 suspects so far

Manchester Evening News reported that there are now 70 police investigations by Greater Manchester Police involving multiple victims of CSE. I assume that means 70 grooming gang investigations. Police have said that there are 809 suspects across these investigations, and some 468 victims discovered so far.

With this latest statistic, the gigantic industrial scale of the grooming gang phenomenon continues to be exposed. If there are over 800 perpetrators in Greater Manchester alone, how many are there across the country as a whole?  One survivor estimates that there have been 500,000 victims over 40 years. We know that almost 19,000 victims of CSE were identified in 2018-19. This is not just something that happened years ago, it continues today.  To date there have only been around 400 convictions for grooming gang crimes.

Police: ‘We think your [under-age] daughter is prostituting herself’

Earlier this month, an alleged new victim of a grooming gang in Walsall has claimed that the police accused her of lying when she bravely went with her mother to report the first rape when aged 12 or 13-years old. She subsequently became a regular victim of an ‘Asian’ grooming gang. Her mother picked her daughter up from the police station after she had been found by police. The police explained to the mother, “We think your daughter is prostituting herself.” She was a young girl at the time. It was illegal for her abusers to have sex with her. Yet the police did not tackle that obvious crime. A grooming gang is known to have operated in an area of Walsall with a large Pakistani population. The victim says that her abusers are still at large today, abusing other young girls.

Political correctness continues

It is good to see a dedicated unit set up to address grooming gang crimes. This is not before time, but it is at least better late than never. I hope that Greater Manchester Police has learnt some lessons from the huge failures around grooming gangs that have been exposed. Whether they have remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, the recent government report into the characteristics of grooming gangs refused to consider religion or Islam as a factor. If the government refuses to address this subject with plain language, you can be sure the police will be very cautious. Every time I learn more about these grooming gangs I wonder: How many more girls will we sacrifice to political correctness?

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