26/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 19:48

Rochdale grooming case 'not a specific Asian crime'

Category: England

Published: 12th Jun 2012 14:55:54

The leader of Rochdale Council says he "strongly" disagrees with politicians who appear to argue that the recent child sex scandal in the town can be described as an "Asian crime".

Labour's Colin Lambert told MPs it was "too easy to badge a community" and there were "issues" across the country.

Nine Asian men were recently convicted of abusing white girls in Rochdale.

Ex-Home Secretary Jack Straw and Tory chairman Baroness Warsi have suggested there has been some targeting.

Baroness Warsi said last month that a "small minority" of Pakistani men see white girls as "fair game".

Mr Straw, Labour MP for Blackburn, claimed after an abuse trial in Derby last year that some men of Pakistani origin saw white girls as "easy meat".

However, Mr Lambert told the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee: "If their clear statement is that the crime was committed because of the Asian community, then I strongly disagree with them, because it's too easy to badge a crime.

"It happens right across all our communities. In terms of badging it as an Asian crime, that's wrong. There are issues in all communities."

Mr Lambert was critical of the handling of the sharing of data between various agencies, including social services and the police, during the grooming case, saying that he had "felt the back-up and support was not there".

He added: "This is a horrendous crime against children. In this particular case it's a case of Asian men and white girls."

But, he continued: "Right across the country, and on a wider European scale, it's not always men. It can be men and women. It's not always white or non-white. It's an issue of child sex abuse."

Last month, a group of Rochdale men was found guilty of a number of offences including including rape and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child, after exploiting vulnerable girls as young as 13.

Prime Minister David Cameron described the case as "truly, truly dreadful".

There are 41 children's homes in Rochdale, which house vulnerable children from all over England. Of the 60 children living within them, only one is from the borough.

The council's chief executive, Jim Taylor, said social services were "now better equipped" to deal with future cases and that more than 9,000 young people in Rochdale had received awareness training to deal with threats to their safety.

Greater Manchester Police's Chief Constable, Peter Fahy, told the MPs that, looking at sexual offences as a whole, "Asian men do not feature disproportionately".

But he added: "If you look at this kind of offence [grooming], on the streets, then clearly Asian men do feature disproportionately."

Since the conviction of the nine men, further arrests have been made in a second sexual grooming inquiry in Rochdale.

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Rochdale grooming case 'not a specific Asian crime' [Online] (Updated 12th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1434084/Rochdale-grooming-case-not-a-specific-Asian-crime [Accessed 26th Jul 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Kidnapped Briton Mike Harvey freed in Yemen

    A British man who was kidnapped in Yemen in February has been released safely, the Foreign Office has said.
  • Fiddler on the Roof's 50 years of musical success

    It's exactly half a century since the premiere of Fiddler on the Roof - among the most successful stage musicals written to date. In 1964 Sheldon Harnick and his colleagues worried that the setting, a small Jewish township in eastern Europe in the early 1900s, might limit the show's appeal. But, says Harnick, the show's real subject is a universal one - family.
  • Glasgow 2014: Top-secret high fives with fastest man on earth

    As the media gathered in a conference room at the SECC in Glasgow to await the arrival of the world's fastest man, five 10-year-old's were being let in on a secret.
  • England v India: Jos Buttler must not change style - Alastair Cook

    England captain Alastair Cook has urged wicketkeeper Jos Buttler not to change his attacking batting style when he makes his Test debut against India.
  • English councils propose 'Tesco tax'

    A group of local councils in England is formally asking the government for new powers to tax large supermarkets.