I’m bored of this “grooming” storyline as well.
Yes, we get it – Pakistanis pick up young sluts outside the middle school and give them drugs and then get them involved in prostitution. No one wants to punish the girls for this, no one even wants to punish the Pakis themselves.
So why even talk about it at all? This has been going on for years, and nothing happens.
More than a thousand children were sexually exploited in just one English town over decades, a bombshell inquiry has found.
The Independent Inquiry into Telford Child Sexual Abuse cataloged a horrific history of grooming and gang rapes, spikes in teenage pregnancies and the use of death threats to silence vulnerable victims.
It heard about one so-called “rape house” which was “operating for years” and found victims were treated as “common prostitutes” by the authorities.
Tom Crowther QC, the inquiry chair, slammed the response of police and council officials saying that “obvious child sexual exploitation was ignored” and that “key agencies blamed children, not perpetrators, for exploitation”.
The Telford child abuse scandal was first exposed by our sister paper, the Sunday Mirror, in 2018, which found after an 18-month investigation that up to a thousand children had been abused since the 1980s.
Mr Crowther supported the paper’s conclusions and said: “Sadly, I regard it as a measured, reasonable and non sensational assessment.”
He added: “The overwhelming theme of the evidence has been the appalling suffering of generations of children caused by the utter cruelty of those who committed child sexual exploitation.
“Victims and survivors repeatedly told the Inquiry how, when they were children, adult men worked to gain their trust before ruthlessly betraying that trust, treating them as sexual objects or commodities.
“Countless children were sexually assaulted and raped. They were deliberately humiliated and degraded. They were shared and trafficked.
“They were subjected to violence and their families were threatened. They lived in fear and their lives were forever changed.
“They have asked, over the years: how was this allowed to happen?”
Mr Crowther found that:
- More than a thousand Telford children were exploited over decades;
- Key agencies dismissed child exploitation as “child prostitution”;
- Exploitation was not investigated because of nervousness about race;
- Teachers and youth workers were discouraged from reporting child sexual exploitation;
- Offenders were emboldened and exploitation continued for years without concerted response;
- The CSE response came from committed individuals not from top-down directives;
Even after Operation Chalice, WMP and the Council scaled down their specialist CSE teams to virtual zero – to save money.
Four years ago, the Sunday Mirror revealed that three people had been murdered and two others died in tragedies linked to the 40-year scandal, believed to be one of Britain’s worst.
16-year-old Lucy Lowe was killed in 2000 along with her mother and sister after her 26-year-old abuser Azhar Ali Mehmood set fire to their house. Cabbie Mehmood targeted Lucy in 1997 and she was just 14 when she gave birth to his daughter.
Becky Watson, 13, died in a car accident in 2003 that was reported at the time as a “prank”. The Sunday Mirror investigation found she suffered two years of abuse which began when she was just 11.
Vicky Round, a friend of Becky’s, was abused by the same gang who got her hooked on crack cocaine aged 12 and on heroin by 14.
She died aged 20 of a drugs incident and her sister Emma the paper: “I have no doubt Vicky would still be here if she hadn’t been so badly abused – yet the people who made her life hell still walk the streets.”
Within a month of the Sunday Mirror’s report, the Independent Inquiry was announced by Telford and Wrekin Council.
It investigated back to 1989, but heard from witnesses who said they were exploited in the 1970s. It received 1.25m pages of materials and heard from 170 witnesses.
Mr Crowther said: “I saw references to exploitation having become ‘generational’; having come to be regarded as ‘normal’ by perpetrators and as inevitable by victims and survivors, some of whose parents had been through similar experiences.
“Such attitudes can only develop if exploitation is not properly recognised and challenged, and in my view, for many years in Telford – as in many other towns and cities in England – it was not.”
He found that “CSE was not hidden, and key agencies were aware of it in detail”.
One local newspaper cutting from 1998 said that “child prostitution” was a public concern and that telephone boxes were being used as “a pick up point for teenage prostitutes”.
Mr Crowther said: “There is evidence that in the 1990s, people working with children – police officers, youth workers and teachers – expressed their concern about repeated episodes of children going missing and numerous cases of adult men exploiting children.
“The evidence shows, though, that these concerns and reports were, largely, not taken sufficiently seriously by the Council, its predecessor authority, or by West Mercia Police.
“Failure by agencies to investigate emboldened offenders; failure to safeguard put children at risk.”
He said the council and police focused on abuse within the family, were “over-cautious” about acting without a formal complaint from a child and there was “a nervousness that investigating concerns against Asian men, in particular, would inflame racial tensions”.
The inquiry found that “things began to change in the mid-2000s” but that this “resulted from the determination and drive of a few individual professionals”.
A police investigation from 2010 called Operation Chalice identified more than 100 potential victims abused between 2007 and 2009. Cops also said there could be as many as 200 perpetrators – but just seven were jailed.
The inquiry found the council and police were “slow to recognise the importance of the retention of a properly-funded and permanent CSE response”.
It noted recent improvements and found police and the council now have “properly resourced, dedicated and expert teams that are well equipped both to identify CSE risk areas and help children who are being exploited”.
But Mr Crowther added: “In my judgment, key organisations should reflect upon why it took them so long to react when the lives of children – and, consequently, the lives of the adults they would become – were being blighted by exploitation.”
West Mercia Police and Telford Council have both issued apologies to the victims of the Telford grooming scandal.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Cooper, of West Mercia Police, said: “I would like to say sorry. Sorry to the survivors and all those affected by child sexual exploitation in Telford.
“While there were no findings of corruption, our actions fell far short of the help and protection you should have had from us, it was unacceptable, we let you down.
“It is important we now take time to reflect critically and carefully on the context of the report and the recommendations that have been made. Whilst we are in a different place now there are no excuses for the past.”
This article includes a full timeline. I had to lol at the fact that this has been documented as happening for decades and no one cares.
Early 1980s – Abusers target vulnerable girls outside a Telford children’s home.
1990s – Social workers and the police are told of the spiralling child sexual exploitation problem but no action appears to be taken.
2000 – Lucy Lowe, 16, is murdered alongside sister Sarah, 17, and mum Eileen, 49, in a house fire set by Azhar Ali Mehmood, who’d made her pregnant at 14. Her friends tell police the deaths are linked to an abuse ring but no dedicated probe is launched.
2002 – Becky Watson, 13, dies in a car accident described as a “prank”. She’d suffered two years of rape hell prior to her death.
2009 – Becky’s friend Vicky Round dies at 20 in a drugs incident after sex offenders got her hooked on Class A substances at 12. Police finally launch an exploitation probe called Operation Chalice.
2013 – Operation Chalice is wound up after producing just seven convictions. It identified around 200 possible perpetrators.
2016 – The Mirror launches a campaign for a dedicated inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Telford but authorities write to the Home Office to say it’s not needed.
March 2018 – We link abuse in the town to five deaths and reveal there could be hundreds of victims.
April 2018 – Telford and Wrekin Council agrees to an independent inquiry in a major U turn.
May 2018 – Police launch Operation Vapour in a bid to snare those responsible for historic abuse in the town.
December 2019 – Three men are convicted of the abuse of a 13-year-old following the first Operation Vapour trial.
July 2022 – The independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Telford is published, criticising the police and local authority for their response to abuse in the town.
It’s all just a complete waste of time.
Everyone sort of understands, at least on a subconscious level, that whether the girl is 14 or 11, she knows she’s not supposed to get in a car with a Pakistani man, she’s not supposed to do drugs, she’s not supposed to become a junkie hooker.
But we all have to pretend the girls are victims. And then, the Pakis can’t really themselves be criminals, because it is impossible for brown people as a group to be a criminal gang. At this point, the logical thing to do is just stop talking about it. It’s just gross and depressing. The girls will never be punished at all, and the Pakis will hardly be punished (and most of them won’t be punished at all).
There is no resolution to the story, so why even think about it?