Complaints over use of 'Asian' label in grooming cases
Published: 16th May 2012 21:07:02
Groups representing Sikh and Hindu communities have complained about the term "Asian" being used to describe the men involved in grooming trials.
Earlier this month, nine men were jailed for being part of a sex ring in Rochdale which groomed girls for sex.
The groups said the men involved were "almost always of Pakistani origin" and the term "Asian" was inaccurate.
The Ramadan Foundation has said grooming is "a significant problem for the British Pakistani community".
The joint statement was released by the Network of Sikh Organisations UK, The Hindu Forum of Britain, and The Sikh Media Monitoring Group UK.
It says the reluctance of the media and the government to discuss the "disproportionate representation of Muslims in such cases" and the fact victims are "almost always non-Muslim girls" is adding to the cause of far-right groups such as the BNP.
It said blanket use of the word "Asian" was "unfair to other communities of Asian origin".
"We believe that in this case the government itself is sanctioning the use of term Asian as a way of clouding responsibility," the groups say.
The groups say sex gangs have targeted Hindu and Sikh girls but the cases are rarely reported as they seldom reach the courts.
The statement says: "We believe that political correctness stifles debate and will not facilitate a frank and mature discussion or solutions to get to the root of why the above pattern is emerging in these crimes and how to help find a solution to the problem.
"We will not be able to do that if we mask the identity of those involved based on misguided views of 'protecting a vulnerable community' of the perpetrators and not looking at the vulnerable community of victims."
Last Week Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of The Ramadhan Foundation, said: "There is an over-representation [of Asian men] amongst recent convictions in the crime of on-street grooming [and] there should be no silence in addressing the issue of race as this is central to the actions of these criminals," he said.
He said community elders were "burying their heads" over the issue and police and local councils should not "be frightened" to address the problem, as there was "a strong lesson that you cannot ignore race or be over-sensitive".
On Monday, the chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, said the race of the men involved could not be ignored and it was "fatuous" to deny racial and cultural factors.
But assistant chief constable Steve Heywood, of Greater Manchester Police, said the case was not about race, but about "adults preying on vulnerable young children".
Liverpool Crown Court heard the nine men plied their victims, one as young as 13, with drink and drugs so they could "pass them around" and use them for sex.
The case sparked protests by far-right groups but police insisted the grooming was not "racially motivated".
At 07:00:12 in WalesCampaigners calling for a Cardiff reservoir to re-open will visit the prime minister to press their case to restore fishing and sailing there.
At 06:59:50 in EnglandA man and woman found dead in a Nottinghamshire house were stabbed, it has been confirmed.
At 06:56:53 in BusinessGeneral Motors has asked a US court to bar some lawsuits relating to its recall over faulty ignition switches.
At 06:55:04 in EnglandOne person has been arrested after three children were found dead at an address in south London.
At 06:38:57 in Northern IrelandThe Orange Order and a republican ex-prisoners' organisation have lent their support to a new course at Queen's University (QUB) that examines the use of public space to express identity.
At 06:36:03 in Northern IrelandTwo tributes to the late poet Seamus Heaney are to be held in Dublin later.
At 06:32:35 in EnglandA man has been charged following a fire at a house in Teesside.
At 06:16:09 in Northern IrelandAn ex-IRA man has made new allegations about Gerry Adams, in which he raises questions about the Sinn Féin leader's claim to have never been in the IRA.
At 06:11:26 in EnglandThe number of rats being reported by the public across Cornwall has increased by almost 50% in the past 12 months, council figures have revealed.
At 06:05:27 in EnglandSix historical buildings have been added to a register of "at risk" properties in Gloucester.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Complaints over use of 'Asian' label in grooming cases [Online] (Updated 16th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1429194/Complaints-over-use-of-Asian-label-in-grooming-cases [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Tony Blair will warn Western leaders they must put aside their differences with Russia over Ukraine to focus on the threat of Islamic extremism.
The Orange Order and a republican ex-prisoners' organisation have lent their support to a new course at Queen's University (QUB) that examines the use of public space to express identity.
General Motors has asked a US court to bar some lawsuits relating to its recall over faulty ignition switches.
William Shakespeare is the UK's greatest cultural icon, according to the results of an international survey released to mark the 450th anniversary of his birth.
Maconochie's stew was a household name during World War One. The tinned "meat and vegetable rations" were welcomed by some troops but others described them as a "man-killer". They also had an unfortunate side-effect.
A meeting to determine how the internet should be governed gets underway in Sao Paulo, Brazil later.