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Sunday, October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020
Sammy Woodhouse, a victim in Rotherham, claimed the heads of the inquiry 'have not placed survivors at the forefront' of their investigations, saying 'the inquiry was trying to bury what happened in places like Rotherham and Rochdale because they're scared of being called racist' image via

The national inquiry into child abuse was 'scared of being called racist' and refused to investigate some of Britain's most notorious sex-grooming scandals, it has been revealed.

Key witnesses were also barred from giving evidence, victims and experts in the inquiry have claimed, amid accusations of 'cowardly' reluctance to examine mass offending in Rotherham and Rochdale.

In those towns, they say, was a pattern of group crimes in which men of Pakistani heritage were over represented, and the reluctance stemmed from not wanting to face accusations of being racist, The Times reported.

Sammy Woodhouse, a victim in Rotherham, claimed the heads of the inquiry 'have not placed survivors at the forefront' of their investigations, and are 'selective in what they decide to look at,' according to newspaper.

'If you are going to get to the root of gang-related child sexual exploitation you need to go right to the heart of it,' she added. 'They are trying to bury what happened in places like Rotherham and Rochdale because they're scared of being called racist.'

Sarah Chapman, Rotherham's campaigning MP and Nazir Azfal, a former chief crown prosecutor who brought justice to the Rochdale sex-grooming gang, are among those appalled by the inquiry's failure to hear evidence.

A former Greater Manchester police officer who exposed the alleged cover-up of sex-grooming crimes in the region accused the national inquiry of being 'too frightened to open the hornet's nest'.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) began in 2015 and has so far cost £143 million. It is trying to establish why there was an 'institutional failure to protect children' from abuse.

In its investigation into exploitation of children by 'organised networks', the inquiry has looked at the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, investigating many of the worst-known scandals involving such organisations.

The organised networks arm on the inquiry was also expected to examine the most infamous cases of group grooming and exploitation.

Big trials over the past ten years have exposed a previously hidden crime model involving the targeting and sexual abuse of teenage girls by groups of men, largely of south Asian origin.

Groups in Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, Leicester, High Wycombe, Dewsbury, Peterborough, Halifax, Newcastle upon Tyne, Telford and Burnley have been prosecuted since 2011 for sex-grooming.

From late September, the IICSA held two weeks of public hearings for its 'organised networks' investigation, with the final day for closing submissions set to take place on October 29.

However, it decided not to hear evidence from survivors or those with knowledge of the crime pattern, and instead chose to select six areas of England and Wales - St Helens, Tower Hamlets in east London, Swansea, Durham, Bristol and Warwickshire.

The reason given was that these areas 'represent a range of sizes, demographics and institutional practices', but none of the six areas has witnessed a major prosecution of a south Asian sex-grooming gang.

Furthermore, The Times reports that the 2011 national census found the proportion of the population that is of Pakistani origin is lower than the national average.

Henrietta Hill, QC, who is the lead council of the inquiry, told the hearing on it first day that after the inquiry 'carefully considered the extent to which, if at all, it should focus on areas such as Rochdale, Rotherham and Oxford', the IICSA decided it would be 'more appropriate' to focus on different areas.

The IICSA is investigating claims against local authorities, religious organisations, the Armed Forces, public and private institutions, and people in the public eye.

Following the death of BBC presenter Jimmy Savile in 2011, hundreds of people came forward to say he had abused them as children.

It was established in 2015, following claims from a complainant known as 'Nick' of a murderous Westminster paedophile ring connected to Parliament.

Nick, whose real name is Carl Beech, was later discredited and jailed for 18 years for what a judge called his 'cruel and callous' lies.

Huddersfield becomes latest in a series of British towns and cities rocked by Asian sex gang investigations

Rotherham - The issue of child abuse in the town first came to light in 2010 when five Asian men were jailed for sexual offences against under-age girls.

A 2014 inquiry found there were more than 1,400 victims of grooming and sex exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

Rochdale - The trial of nine men for grooming young white girls for sex attracted widespread public outrage and sparked a national debate when they were convicted in 2012.

The gang received jail sentences of between four and 19 years for offences committed against five girls - aged between 13 and 15 - in and around Rochdale between 2008 and 2010.

The case returned to the public consciousness earlier this year when the BBC broadcast its Three Girls drama based on the experiences of some of the victims. 

BBC Television programme 'Three Girls' was a dramatised version of the events surrounding the Rochdale child sex abuse ring

BBC Television programme 'Three Girls' was a dramatised version of the events surrounding the Rochdale child sex abuse ring

Newcastle - A total of 17 men and one woman were convicted of, or admitted, charges including rape, supplying drugs and inciting prostitution, in Newcastle last year.

Older men preyed on immature teenagers who were plied with cocaine, cannabis, alcohol or mephedrone (M-Cat), then raped or persuaded into having sexual activity at parties known as 'sessions'.

The case raised huge controversy after a convicted rapist was paid almost £10,000 of taxpayers' money to spy on parties where under-age girls were intoxicated and sexually abused.

Northumbria Police launched a major investigation after receiving information from social workers and initially spoke to 108 potential victims. Over the course of four trials, 20 young women gave evidence covering a period from 2011 to 2014.

Oxford - A group of men who abused teenage girls in a vehicle they called the 's**gwagon' were jailed for a total of nearly 90 years in June this year.

The men - aged 36 to 48 - befriended vulnerable girls as young as 13 before plying them drink and drugs at 'parties' in Oxford.

The eight men - branded 'predatory and cynical' by a judge - were jailed for between seven and a half and fifteen years each.

Bristol - Some 13 Somali men were jailed for more than a total of more than 100 years after they were convicted in 2014 of running an inner city sex ring.

Victims as young as 13 were preyed upon, sexually abused and trafficked across Bristol to be passed around the men's friends for money.

Aylesbury - Six men were jailed in 2015 for grooming vulnerable under-age white girls between 2006 and 2012.

The Old Bailey heard victims would be plied with alcohol and forced to perform sex acts for as little as 'the price of a McDonalds'.

Peterborough - A total of 10 men were convicted of child sex crimes in the town, including 'predatory' restaurant boss Mohammed Khubaib.

He was jailed for 13 years at the Old Bailey in 2015, after he was found guilty of forcing a 14-year-old girl to perform a sex act on him and nine counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation, involving girls aged from 12 to 15, between 2010 and 2013.

Telford - Earlier this year, Telford became the latest town to become the focus of the now sadly familiar stories of abuse.

An investigation concluded that around 1,000 children could have been sexually exploited in the Shropshire town over a 40-year period, leading to calls for a public inquiry. 


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