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"Epidemic: America's Trade in Child Rape"

This book is a wake-up call about a subject too few people want to discuss. That is, while no one was watching, America has become a chi...

lunedì 12 dicembre 2016

Asian grooming gang in Keighley abused young girl for a year

A DAMNING report has found a catalogue of missed opportunities to protect the young victim of a grooming gang in Keighley

The police and social services have both apologised after an independent review found the victim could have been protected sooner and highlighted a host of failings in the way she was dealt with.
The girl was repeatedly raped by the gang in encounters arranged by a violent drug dealer over 13 months between 2011 and 2012, when she was 13 and 14.
Earlier this year, 12 men were jailed for more than 140 years between them for their part in the abuse.
On one occasion, the girl was gang-raped by five of the men who “lined her up” and took it turns to abuse her.
The drug dealer, described as the “evil mastermind” of the group, Arif Choudhury, is thought to have fled to Bangladesh.
A serious case review found that multiple opportunities were missed by the authorities to protect the girl from this abuse.
The report, which gives the girl the name of ‘Autumn’, describes “confusion and disagreement” between the various agencies and a “consistent failure” to assess her circumstances properly.
It says: “When she was raped by her main groomer in May 2011, she made three separate disclosures to agencies about this incident.”
It says she “tended to withdraw allegations once she had made them”.
This led to the authorities forming a view of her as unreliable, which “saw her withdraw further into silence and made her more vulnerable to the power of her abusers”.
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Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “It’s very clear that West Yorkshire Police failed this girl on a number of levels.
“It’s certainly clear there were opportunities to safeguard her that were missed.
“There were investigative opportunities to get to grips fairly quickly with the individuals that were perpetrating this sexual abuse upon her that were missed and there were opportunities particularly when she went missing to have made the connection between her going missing and the exploitation she was clearly suffering at that time.
“Knowing that, the most important thing for West Yorkshire Police to do is to acknowledge that and apologise to Autumn, which West Yorkshire Police clearly do.
“As a senior officer at West Yorkshire Police, I personally apologise to her as well.”
He said he hoped the subsequent investigation, which saw the 12 men jailed, was of “some comfort to her” and stressed that child abuse was now one of the police’s top priorities.
Prity Patel, chairman of the board which conducted the serious case review, said: “If we had had the systems we have now in place, then it might have been a different picture. I think at that stage, the missed opportunities occurred because professionals and partners didn’t have the knowledge that they have [now] around child sexual abuse.”
Michael Jameson, strategic director of children’s services at Bradford Council, said: “On a personal level and on a professional level I’m very sorry for what happened to Autumn. No child should endure the abuse she suffered and the crimes which were committed against her.
“That should never have happened and on reading the report there were missed opportunities to respond sooner and safeguard Autumn.”
The case directly led to the setting-up of Bradford’s child sexual exploitation hub, which brings together the police, social services and others to combat abuse and protect children.
David Niven, who chairs the district’s independent safeguarding children board, said Bradford was now regarded as a leader in the area of child protection.
He said the difference between the safeguarding processes in place now and what had been in place in 2011 and 2012, when Autumn was being abused, was like “chalk and cheese” - but added that they could never be complacent about the threat.
In other recent cases involving Asian grooming gangs - notably in Rotherham - the police and other authorities had faced criticism for failing to act sooner out of a sense of misplaced political correctness.
But this review says “no evidence has come to light of a culture of denial” similar to that found in Rotherham.
Miss Patel said the serious case review team had explored the concern that the gang had been overlooked because of their background, but the conclusion was that in this case “it just so happened these perpetrators were from a particular community”.
Mr Niven said there was “no denying” the criminals in this case were Asian, but prominent sexual abuse cases from Jimmy Savile to recent allegations of abuse in sport showed perpetrators could be from any background.
Det Supt Wallen said: “I don’t think cultural niceties or political correctness were a barrier here, in this particular case.
“I think we missed opportunities because of our failings as an organisation to understand the problem but I do think in the future we need to watch very carefully that fear of offending, fear of causing offence, or upsetting minority ethnic groups does not stand in the way of robust policing.”
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said the report was a “comprehensive but also incredibly disturbing document”.
He said it was clear that there had been “many failings” and welcomed efforts to address them.
He said: “Twelve evil men are now in prison as a result of their heinous crimes against Autumn and, with further local child grooming cases due to be heard, I would expect a significant number of others to join them behind bars.

Police and social services apologise for failing to protect schoolgirl who was gang raped by sex groomers in Keighley / Claire Wilde, City Hall Reporter Dec 07 2016

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