Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What lies behind the Rotherham sex exploitation scandal?

The Report by Alexis Jay (video here) on the horrendous abuse of more than 1400 children in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 raises huge questions about accountability, although the main concern of popular media has been the perception that the cases were not investigated because of concerns about it being politically incorrect to accuse Pakistani men of doing wrong.

It was indeed the case that "Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so." 

It is simply not believable, though, that a fear of appearing racist could be the sole reason for authorities to have suppressed and held back investigation of serious crimes, with allegations repeated over a period of 16 years. It is not as if the police hang back from stopping and searching black and minority ethnic (BME) youth for fear of appearing racist.

There may be more going on here than meets the eye.

This reluctance of police to investigate child abuse is part of a nationwide pattern, and is irrespective of the ethnicity of the perpetrators. I have collected no less than 43 (forty three) instances of similar cover ups on the VIPCSA site here.

The leader of Rotherham Council has resigned. Big deal. He is still a councillor, just on slightly smaller wages and with slightly more time on his hands. The media are rightly gunning for the Police and Crime Commissioner to stand down. He is resisting as I write, but will undoubtedly fall on his toy sword in a bit.

What we really need is an outside police force investigation into the upper levels of South Yorkshire  police force to find the source of the pressure to stop investigations of abuse.

The two Chief Constables of South Yorkshire in the relevant time were Mike Hedges 1998-2004, and Meredydd Hughes 2004-11. They have questions to answer.

On the one hand, there is no evidence that South Yorkshire Police were corrupted by the criminal gangs on their patch, but on the other hand it would be naive to suppose that corruption never happens in England. Police were routinely paid for information by Murdoch hacks. A Met Commander was jailed for corrupt dealings. Operation Countryman investigated corrupt dealings in the Met in the 1970s, when policement were receiving bribes from criminals in return for warnings of imminent police raids or arrests. No charges were made, and the £4million report was never made public. Significantly, the murder of Daniel Morgan clearly indicates corruption in the police force that is going on right now. See here:

Eventually, maybe when all those involved have popped their clogs, we may learn that the Rotherham Scandal was down to more than mere political correctness.


Rangjan said...

Based on the general pattern of police behaviour, political correctness would appear to be the least likely explanation for their failings.

Richard Lawson said...

Rangjan, that is a very good point and it strengthens my general argument :)