Police Ignored Huge Child Abuse Ring for Years: Report
1,400 kids exploited in UK town of Rotherham over 16 years
By Shelley Hazen, Newser User
Posted Aug 27, 2014 4:18 PM CDT
People walk in the town centre, in Rotherham, England, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014.   (AP Photo/Sylvia Hui)

(Newser) – For 16 years, 1,400 children in the impoverished South Yorkshire town of Rotherham were stalked, reported missing, or seen leaving school with strange men. At first, they were "white British children" and more recently, they were Pakistani, Kashmiri, and Roma, the AP reports. A new report reveals they were victims of a disturbing, and largely ignored, sex-abuse ring. "Children … had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone," writes professor Alexis Jay in a report commissioned by the town to investigate the claims of abuse. "Girls as young as 11 were raped by large numbers of male perpetrators." Police regarded the kids with "contempt," a third of whom were already known to them and child protection agencies, writes Jay.

The abuse started in 1997. In 2010, five Rotherham men were jailed for grooming teens for sex, and similar rings were uncovered in three more towns. No other arrests were made. In 2012, an investigation by the Times of London newspaper revealed that police and child protection agencies knew about the abuse for a decade, including formally in three reports, according to the Guardian. Town council members say the data was kept from them. Political correctness may have also prevented action—the perpetrators were believed to be Pakistani, and authorities may have feared that targeting one ethnic group would be seen as racist, explains AP. "The collective failures of political and officer leadership were blatant," Jay writes. So far, 29 people have been charged with child sexual abuse, reports the BBC. The number of convictions is unclear.

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Showing 3 of 55 comments
Lou Bernardo
Aug 29, 2014 11:51 PM CDT
Many doing it were Towelheads. Of course we can't be told that can we? Look for more stories like this as the Peaceful Religion of the Former Rag Picker Mohamad spreads.
Reader55549798
Aug 28, 2014 4:22 PM CDT
Thank goodness this wasn't the typical story we'd expect to have gone on in the US somewhere. I am hopeful things might change for these poor children in Britain.
Ms_Angie
Aug 28, 2014 12:43 PM CDT
I got half way through this article...then rushed to the bathroom and vomited. The thought of those poor children being ignored and thrown aside like trash is more than I can stand. WHY??? WHAT THE HELL HAS HAPPENED TO PEOPLE'S COMPASSION AND HUMANITY? Excuse my language.