Britain’s Grooming Gang Crisis

There’s no #MeToo for these victims.

The scale of the street grooming crisis in the UK almost defies belief. Hundreds of girls and young women were raped in the city of Rotherham, and hundreds by similar exploitation rings in RochdalePeterboroughNewcastleOxford, and Bristol. Now, up to a thousand girls are thought to have been drugged, raped, and beaten in Telford between the 1980s and the 2010s.

This is, of course, a highly emotive subject. How could it not be? Yet if the phenomenon is to be understood it is important to evaluate the data objectively. Otherwise we have a lot of heat and little light.

Responses to the crisis are contentious because most of the perpetrators are British Asians; specifically British Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. Child abuse is not uniquely or largely a problem of particular demographics but grooming gangs – that is, multiple offenders exploiting women they have met, manipulated, and abused outside their homes – are 84 percent Asian, and this does not mean Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or Indonesian (other perpetrators have been Somali, Romani, Kosovan, Kurdish, and white British.)


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