Month: September 2014

Theresa May: British values will prevail over extremists

A future Conservative government would seek new powers to ban extremist groups and curb the activities of “harmful” individuals, Theresa May has said.

Banning orders and “extreme disruption” orders will feature in the party’s 2015 election manifesto, the home secretary told the Tory Party conference.

She said that in the battle against extremism “British values” would prevail.

Mrs May also promised police greater access to internet data.

She is among a number of high-profile speakers on the third day of the Tory conference, with Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Education Secretary Nicky Morgan also taking the stage.

In her speech, the home secretary also:

  • Called for changes to the way police stop and search powers were used, saying legislation would be used if necessary
  • Attacked the Liberal Democrats for thwarting attempts to introduce new data monitoring powers
  • Said the Home Office would take control of all of the government’s extremism policies
  • Warned about the establishment of the “world’s first truly terrorist state” in Iraq and Syria

The new measures will be targeted at people and groups who “stay just within the law but spread poisonous hatred”, she said.

Ms May told the conference the UK should not “shy away” from tackling radical Islamist group Islamic State (IS), which has seized large parts of Iraq and Syria.

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Analysis: Dominic Casciani, home affairs correspondent

Dominic Casciani

The decision to bring extremism strategy into the Home Office is already policy – and it is about more than rearranging the machinery of government: It’s a symbol of the tensions inside Whitehall over whether every previous attempt to combat extremism has been a muddled flop.

Read more from Dominic

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British hostage David Haines was “murdered simply for being British”, she said.

A “studied, careful approach” was required, she said.

Ms May said a “very complicated battle” was taking place for the “heart and soul” of Islam, saying it was not for Britain to try to resolve it.

But she said it was right that the UK was part of an “international coalition” to tackle IS, also known as Isil.

Schoolchildren in BirminghamThe new strategy will aim to prevent extremists being appointed to positions of authority, including in schools

If IS succeeded, she said, “we will see the world’s first truly terrorist state established only a few hours’ flying time from our country”.

She added: “We must not flinch, we must not shy away from our responsibility.”

In a speech which got a standing ovation from the audience in Birmingham, she said: “In the end, as they have done before, these values, our British values, will win the day and we will prevail.”

Email monitoring

Mrs May said that getting access to communications data – details of who called who and when, but not the content of the calls – was vital.

She said 12 cases were dropped by the Metropolitan Police in three months because communications data was not available.

In a reference to the government’s previous attempt to introduce new powers, she said: “The solution to this crisis of national security was the Communications Data Bill, but two years ago that was torpedoed by the Liberal Democrats.”

She said the Liberal Democrat position was “dangerously irresponsible”.

Mrs May also said the misuse of stop and search powers was still a “real problem” and said legislation would be used if necessary.

More than 250,000 stops last year were “probably illegal”, she said, because they were not carried out with “reasonable grounds for suspicion”.

Stop and search could be a “legitimate and useful police tool”.

But black people were six times more likely to be stopped than white people, she told the conference, adding that she was determined that “nobody should be stopped and searched because of the colour of their skin”.

‘Inciting hatred’

Mr Cameron has warned the Islamic State insurgency in Syria and Iraq poses a direct threat to the UK, with 500 British jihadists believed to have travelled to the two countries.

Earlier on Tuesday he told BBC Breakfast: “The problem that we have had is this distinction of saying we will only go after you if you are an extremist that directly supports violence.

“It has left the field open for extremists who know how not to step over the line. But these are people who have radicalised young minds and led to people heading off to Syria or Iraq to take part in this ghastly slaughter.”

Among other things, the new strategy outlined by Mrs May will seek to bolster Islamic institutions that operate in a way which is “compatible” with British values and look to improve vetting procedures to prevent extremists being appointed to positions of authority, including in schools.

The government’s new approach will bring together existing measures, such as the statutory duty for public bodies to have a counter-radicalisation strategy and enhanced powers for the Charity Commission to close down charities that are a front for extremist activity, with new efforts to improve awareness and training about the risks posed by extremism.

Stop and searchMs May said stop and search could be a legitimate useful power

The Home Office will take the lead across government by creating a central hub of knowledge and expertise to advise other departments, the public sector and civil society about the risks of extremism, particularly of infiltration.

At the moment, organisations can only be banned if there is evidence of links to terrorism.

Under the Tories’ new proposals, groups that cannot currently be proscribed could be subject to banning orders should ministers “reasonably believe” that they intend to incite religious or racial hatred, to threaten democracy or if there is a pressing need to protect the public from harm, either from a risk of violence, public disorder, harassment or other criminal acts.

The granting of a ban, which would be subject to immediate review by the High Court, would make membership or funding of the organisation concerned a criminal offence.

Broadcasting ban

The police would also be given new powers to apply to a Court to impose extreme disruption orders on individuals, using the same criteria.

This could result in those targeted being stopped from taking part in public protests, from being present at all in certain public locations, from associating with named people, from using of conventional broadcast media and from “obtaining any position of authority in an institution where they would have influence over vulnerable individuals or children”.

Breach of the restrictions – which would be time limited – would be a criminal offence.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Carlile, the former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he did not think some of the measures were sufficiently tough, and called on Mrs May to reintroduce powers to relocate terror suspects to other parts of the country.

Conservative MP Dominic Raab told BBC News there was already a “very wide criminal basis” to prosecute extremist groups.

“I think you need to be very wary about criminalising thoughts and views”, he said.

Labour has questioned the effectiveness of the Prevent strategy, saying all individuals returning from the Middle East should have to undergo a programme of de-radicalisation.

It has called for the government to reintroduce control orders scrapped in 2011.

UKIP said the moves paved the way for governments to “block free speech”, while campaign group Big Brother Watch, saidit was “wholly wrong” to label someone as an extremist with a “due legal process”.


Analysis: Can extremism plan work?

Theresa May

For years, ministers and policymakers have argued over the response to extremism because they have never been quite clear how to define it.

Now, after many years of behind-the-scenes wrangling, a Conservative home secretary is nailing her colours to this particular mast.

There are three prongs to her planned changes to how the government tackles extremism:

  • New powers to ban extremist groups
  • New powers to curtail the activities of individual extremists
  • Bringing the entire strategy under her control

The decision to bring extremism strategy into the Home Office is about more than rearranging the machinery of government.

It’s a symbol of the tensions inside Whitehall over whether every previous attempt to combat extremism have been a muddled flop.

Labour sent extremism to the Department of Communities because it was wedded to a holistic – perhaps utopian – effort to create cohesive communities.

Its return to the Home Office ultimately means extremism will first and foremost be a security issue. The idea that radical and extreme ideology forms part of a “conveyor belt” towards terrorism will be firmly and finally embedded in policy.

The banning orders are a new idea.

The government can already ban organisations linked to terrorism – meaning actual violence or its incitement. This power has been used toproscribe 74 organisations – everyone from the IRA to Muslims Against Crusades, the group that staged demonstrations against soldiers returning from Afghanistan.

These counter-extremism banning orders go further. They would allow ministers to outlaw a group if it:

  • Spreads, incites or promotes hatred against a person or group
  • Seeks to overthrow democracy
  • Causes some kind of public harm, such as leaving people in fear and distress.

If such banning orders came in, they could lead to a considerable curtailment of public or online comment and campaigning.

Far-right groups prone to marching near mosques while chanting “Muslim bombers off our streets” could be a thing of the past. Hardline Islamist groups that declare they want the “black flag of Islam” flying over Downing Street may disappear from view.

These banning orders would work hand-in-hand with proposals to restrict individuals under “extremism disruption orders”.

You can decide for yourself whether supporters of such groups would change their minds just because they can no longer say what they think in public.

Greater good

The extremism disruption orders, or “Exdos”, would operate in the same way as an Asbo.

The authorities would have to prove to a judge in a civil court that somebody’s behaviour needs to be restricted for the greater good.

The court could impose conditions including banning someone from speaking in public, in social media or on the news. There could be restrictions on who they could associate with and bans on them taking a position of authority, such as becoming a school governor.

Just as with Asbos, the individual could face prosecution for breaching the Exdo.

Is any of this workable?

The experience of Asbos is that they can be very hard to obtain and to enforce because of the sheer effort required to gather enough evidence to satisfy the courts.

Judges are never reluctant to jail violent criminals who pose a danger to the public: these people have either pleaded guilty to a crime or been found guilty by a jury of their peers.

But courts have often struggled with Asbos because they don’t involve a criminal allegation.

Anjem Choudary Anjem Choudary

Given the police and MI5 are pre-occupied with dealing with terrorist threats, who would gather and present the evidence? Given the bile that is regularly spouted on Twitter, how many of these people would be subject to the restrictions?

If some of the evidence were drawn from intelligence assessments, would MI5 and police counter-terrorism teams suddenly allow their secrets into the courts? That’s very unlikely – raising the possibility of secret hearings.

The closest comparable powers are police bail conditions imposed on someone who is under investigation.

Last week the controversial Islamist preacher and political activist Anjem Choudary, and his associates, were arrested as part of an investigation into their activities. Almost all of the men were later bailed – but police have banned them from talking to each other or proselytising on the streets.

It’s not stopped the men speaking to the media or online. Which brings us to the most controversial element of this package.

The proposed restrictions on speaking in public are far, far wider than the 1980s broadcasting ban on Sinn Fein – and they seem to run contrary to a policy position that’s less than a year old.

Last December, the government’s Extremism Taskforce, chaired by the PM, said: “While protecting society from extremism, we will also continue to protect the right to freedom of expression.”

Critics will say that position has now been ditched – and the home secretary is arguing that the only way to protect our democracy is to prevent free speech.

Missing Bristol girl, 15, ‘may be heading to Syria’

Map of Syria
Police believe the girl is trying to get from Turkey into Syria

A missing teenage Somali girl from Bristol may be attempting to get to Syria, police have said.

Detectives have been tracing the 15-year-old’s movements from the moment she left her home to her arrival in Istanbul, Turkey.

Assistant Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe said there were indications the girl “may have been radicalised”.

“Our priority is to find her before she crosses the border to Syria and make sure she is safe,” she said.

“We must all be vigilant and ready to spot the signs of radicalisation.

“Often, young Muslims who go to Syria can be naïve and don’t recognise that they are being sucked into joining extremist groups.

“This is not about criminalising these young people, it’s about preventing tragedies.”

The girl’s parents reported her missing last Wednesday.

The student, who police are declining to name, travelled to London where she met a 17-year-old girl from London and both are believed to have travelled from Heathrow Airport.

Avon and Somerset Police said the search involved detectives from the Metropolitan Police and their network of international liaison officers

UK ‘Islamic State recruiter’ held in Bangladesh

Islamic State fighters march along a road wearing black material around their faces
Islamic State militants have taken control or large parts of Iraq and Syria

Police in Bangladesh have arrested a British man on suspicion of trying to recruit people for Islamic State (IS).

Officers said the man, who they believe to be of Bangladeshi origin, had spent time in Syria and had belonged to militant group al-Nusra Front.

They said his plan was to recruit fighters in Bangladesh and rejoin IS or other militants in the Middle East.

The UK Foreign Office said it was aware a Briton had been arrested and said it was arranging “consular access”.

Combat missionsMasudur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Dhaka police in Bangladesh, said officers had “learned” of the suspect’s intention to recruit fighters for IS.

“We seized his passport,” he said. “It says that he spent some time in Syria.

“He also confessed that he joined the jihad with the al-Nusra Front from last September to December.

“His plan was to join any Islamic jihad in the Middle East.”

IS militants have taken control of large parts Iraq and Syria in recent months, aiming to create a caliphate governed by strict Islamic law.

A coalition led by the US is carrying out air strikes against IS in Iraq and Syria.

On Friday, the UK Parliament voted by 524 votes to 43 to take military action against IS in Iraq, and RAF Tornado jets have begun flying combat missions over the country.

Islamic State and Rotherham abuse ‘fuelling far right’


IS image of fighters at undisclosed location in the Anbar province. 14 June 2014The rise of the IS in Iraq and Syria has led to a far-right backlash

Islamic State extremism and the Rotherham abuse scandal are fuelling a far-right backlash in the UK, one of the Home Office’s most senior advisers on right-wing extremism has said.

The anonymous worker claims the government has overlooked the problem amid its focus on tackling jihadists.

The Home Office says it is working to prevent “all forms of extremism”.

But the Institute for Strategic Dialogue claims the government must engage more with the far right.

‘Worrying period’

The senior adviser works directly with right-wing extremists as part of the Home Office’s Prevent strategy, and asked to remain anonymous to protect his personal safety. He says the government has underestimated the threat posed by the far right in Britain.

“This is one of the most worrying periods in right-wing extremism, given the growth in right-wing groups and the recent news events which are making them more angry,” he explains.

The adviser, who has 27 years of field work experience, says he has spoken to several individuals in recent weeks who have displayed real anger at the ongoing conflict in the Middle East – where Islamic State (IS) militants control large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

US journalist James FoleyIslamic extremism in the Middle East, including the beheading of US journalist James Foley by IS, is said to have led to increased anti-Muslim abuse in the UK

Membership to far-right groups, he adds, is on the rise. He claims that since last year, at least five new groups have formed, often having branched off from existing groups to follow a stronger ideology and comprising over 100 members.

He says one group member told him he would like to implement death camps in the UK.

“When I asked who he would like to put in the death camps, he just listed everyone that he didn’t see as white British,” he added.

‘Increased’ racial hate crime

Data compiled by Tell Mama UK, which monitors anti-Islamic hatred, reflects fears that the actions of IS are provoking Islamophobia in the UK.

In August it received 219 reports of abusive incidents targeted at Muslims in England – the same month as the IS beheading of US journalist James Foley.

This was almost double the 112 incidents recorded in January, though the organisation stresses its figures only show a glimpse of the full picture, with many victims of racial hate crime afraid to report abuse.

Even though Tell Mama UK’s data was collected anecdotally – the Muslim Council of Britain supports its claim that there has been an escalation in violence against individuals.

The findings of an inquiry into child sex abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 are also a cause of increased hate crime towards Muslims, Tell Mama UK suggests.

The report, commissioned by Rotherham Borough Council, found at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited by criminal gangs predominantly of Pakistani heritage.

In August, when it was made public, over a quarter of anti-Muslim hate crimes (58) recorded by Tell Mama UK were said to be provoked by the scandal.

Last weekend an English Defence League (EDL) rally took place in Rotherham in response to the revelations revealed by the inquiry.

English Defence League flag at Rotherham Police StationAn EDL flag flies outside Rotherham Police Station

Groups ‘encourage active role’

One former member of a neo-Nazi group, who wants to remain anonymous, agrees that current domestic and global events present the “ideal recruitment ground” for right-wing extremist groups.

He says once young members sign up groups urge them to take on an active role.

“There are books that are available on the internet that you’re encouraged to read,” he says, “you’ll then be questioned on your knowledge.”

Asked what the books are about, he replies: “How to disable somebody and how to basically kill people.”

He says he originally joined the neo-Nazi movement as he felt the British population was being ignored.

“Coming from a working class background, I was very conscious of money being allocated to other areas [by the government],” he explains.

He says he no longer holds racist views.

The BBC’s Sima Kotecha spoke to a senior Home Office adviser who told her he could see the increase in far-right groups

Success abroad

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) think tank, which specialises in research on right-wing extremism, is calling on the UK government to change its approach to tackling far-right movements.

It has published research which, it says, suggests Britain must find new ways to engage with such groups.

“When individuals are entrenched in these movements there is very little support or option for them to leave,” its research and policy manager on far-right extremism and intolerance, Vidhya Ramalingam, claims.

“We’ve seen there’s evidence from programmes that exist in Sweden, Germany and Scandinavia, that actually if you offer a space for individuals to turn to when they are doubting their ideology, we can prevent violence from happening in the first place,” she adds.

Former Labour cabinet minister Hazel Blears told the Today programme that encouraging people to integrate more would help combat extremism of all kinds.

“What really needs to be done, is what we’ve tried to do for a long time – certainly I have – and that’s to bring people together. If you bring people together, it’s a lot more difficult to hate each other if you’re sharing day-to-day lives.

ISD reports that since 2000 the Exit programme in Germany has helped over 500 individuals leave the extreme right, with a 97% success rate.

The Exit-Fryshuset programme in Sweden has achieved 94% success with 133 people, says ISD.

The Home Office insists much of its work on radicalisation specifically addresses far-right extremism, with a quarter of the 2,000 cases it has dealt with since April 2012 being concerned with the problem.

It says its Prevent strategy “tackles all forms of extremism, including from the far right”.

Rotherham Scandal: ‘The Pakistani Community Will Not Tolerate any Sick Man Exploiting any Girl of any Colour’


Rotherham grooming

Five of the main culprits in the Rotherham abuse scandal: Mohsin Khan, 21, Razwan Razaq, 30, Adil Hussain, 20, Zafran Ramzan, 21, Umar Razaq, 24

Rotherham, 1400 and more cases of abuse documented over a period of 16 years. The victims were children, mostly in care, mostly white. The perpetrators predominantly of Pakistani heritage. This is not the first of its kind; we witnessed the same heinous cases in Rochdale and Oxford and it has been reported that more are coming forward.

I have taken my time in writing this blog so that I could do so as rationally as possible. When I first read the Rotherham report I was furious and sickened by the treatment of the victims at the hands of not only the groomers but also by the authorities who were supposed to be protecting them. Time and time again the report details how the police failed to protect the young girls.

The report even states that “the police had responded reluctantly to missing person reports, as a ‘waste of time’. Some young women had been threatened with arrest for wasting police time.”

The authors add: “The young women concerned were often seen by the Police as being deviant or promiscuous. The adult men with whom they were found were not questioned”

Further on in the report it states that police officers deliberately did not take on cases as they did not want to increase their workload. Imagine that; imagine being a young girl abused and the very people you are told will help you close their doors on you, and, worse still, blame you for the abuse.

Many victims have come forward claiming that they told the police that they had been abused but their pleas for help were ignored. Yet Shaun Wright defiantly denies knowing the scale of the problem! Maybe he didn’t know the scale of the problem because his staff couldn’t be bothered to file it all down as it meant they would have had to do some work.

‘Imagine being a young girl abused and the very people you are told will help you close their doors on you, and, worse still, blame you for the abuse.’

These accounts give us a harrowing perspective of the scale of the problem. How do we safeguard young vulnerable girls from those who want to exploit them? How do we inform the public to recognise a child who is being groomed? What use is all of this if the authorities are not going to help bring perpetrators to justice?

In the report Alexis Jay does point out that the South Yorkshire police force has since radically changed and are now more hands on, working with local support groups and children’s services. But what about those who have been neglected by the system?

Not seeking ways to restore justice

My concern is that we are spending so much time discussing who we should blame and not seeking ways to restore justice. It is not only to restore justice but to allow the communities in Rotherham to regain trust in the authorities that are put in place to protect them. I believe that this is crucial. If the trust is not there, if the men who exploited the girls are not punished, then this cycle of abuse will continue. It has been allowed to continue for too long – this should have been stamped out after what happened in Oxford and Rochdale, but clearly lessons have not been learnt.

Another factor of blame has been directed towards the ethnicity of the groomers. The majority of them are of Pakistani heritage, we all saw the headlines. Many commentators and bloggers have come out in defence of the Pakistani community, stating it is unfair to scapegoat an entire community due to the actions of a minority. The same thing over and over again.

Protestors at EDL march in Rotherham

Far-right groups organised rallies in Rotherham in response to the child abuse revelations, which centred on men of Pakistani origin(Blue_Eyes, @English_baldy)

I agree it is wrong to focus on the ethnicity of the abusers; these men do not see colour when they look for vulnerable girls to prey on, they just see girls they can exploit. Yes, it is known that the majority of victims who came forward were white, resulting in comments such as “they prey on our girls” etc etc, but the fact is there were Asian victims. Not many will come forward, you just need to read Ruzwana Bashir’s story to find out why. My point in telling you this is to shatter the illusion that Pakistani men ONLY abuse white girls. Trust me, it’s not only white girls.

Asian girls won’t come forward because:

a) they are scared and in many cases they do not have the family support system which means they lack a safe space

b) they know they will be blamed, and receive comments such as “you asked for it” or “thats what happens when you wear jeans and no dupatta”

c) the consequences of it going public, the “community” will find out, people will spread rumours, lack of future marital proposals, family name tarnished, honour, respect, blah blah blah

By some twisted logic, if an Asian girl speaks of her abuse, she is the one who is ostracised, she is the one who is named a whore and she is the one who has brought dishonour. I have spoken to a handful of women who have survived sexual abuse and all their stories end the same way; they are told to stay quiet about it and if they don’t, the family ostracises them.

And then you wonder why these sick, perverted men keep on grooming?! It is because they KNOW this will happen, hence why they take photos and videos of the abuse, so they can blackmail the girl into silence. This is also documented in the Rotherham report.

The community is in a sense helping the groomers. By perpetuating this culture of silence and shame, the same cycle just keeps on spinning.

Martin Kimber has announced resignation over Rotherham child sex abuse scandal

Rotherham Council chief executive Martin Kimber announced resignation over child sex abuse scandal

Time to talk to our daughters

So how do we stop this? We need to take a stand, as active citizens. If we see anything suspicious or anything that just looks wrong we need to let the authorities know. We need to talk to our daughters. GIVE THEM A SAFE SPACE. Forget what your neighbour or your cousin or what your grandad thinks, this is about the mental and physical wellbeing of YOUR CHILD.

We need to share information with each other so, if your daughter has been approached, let everyone else know, name and shame the dishonourable individual who is seeking to exploit your girls!!! A strong message needs to be sent out to those who groom that the PAKISTANI COMMUNITY WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY SICK MAN EXPLOITING ANY GIRL OF ANY COLOUR.

We need to remove the blame from the victim and direct it towards those who abuse and who are complicit in abuse. Make no mistake: if you are silent, if you make excuses for those who abuse, you are just as guilty.

We need to destroy this culture whereby any woman who has survived abuse is ostracised. We need to shatter the idea that she is not worthy to marry, or not a good influence for young girls. All the survivors of abuse I know are strong minded, brave and fearless women. I want my daughter to be around them so she can see, despite all odds, they have never given up. Are these women not great role models? Can we not use their examples to help others? Can we not use them to send a message out to the abusers, that WE WILL STAND BY THESE WOMEN!

‘We need to remove the blame from the victim and direct it towards those who abuse and who are complicit in abuse.’

I agree that we cannot scapegoat the Pakistani community, there is a lot of work being done on a grassroots level to prevent such abuse with organisations like CAASE and TAG (both based in Bradford) but more can be done from home. Whether we like it or not, we have a strong culture where men are treated as superiors to women. You just need to look at a traditional family with three sisters and one brother. Men are brought up as kings, with their dishes cleaned, beds made, clothes ironed and shoes polished from the day they are born to the day they die.

The servitude begins with the mother and the unfortunate sisters and then passes on to the wife and the subsequent daughters. If a man goes out until the early hours its fine, but all hell breaks loose if a woman is to do the same. If a man has an affair, the wife is blamed for being too fat or unattractive and she has to just deal with it, but if she was to do the same she would be divorced and penniless.

I know so many cases where young lads have got married to a girl their parents wanted them to marry but then kept “a girl on the side” to keep themselves happy, and I know cases where the “mistress” has eventually had enough and confronted the wife and the former is blamed – not the actual man who spun a web of lies and deceit.

This double life syndrome is part and parcel of the groomer’s mentality. They have been brought up in an environment where their behaviour has been excused, they have been married off as a solution rather then actually tackling the problem, which is an absolute disregard and lack of respect for women. But let me ask you this: how can you expect a man to respect a woman when all his life all he has ever seen is women doing everything for him?! If all his life he has been tended to, treated differently and told it is “his right” to be sexually pleased in marriage, then, really, what do you expect? There is a clear conflict between duty and autonomy, for example young Pakistanis who come from traditional families are raised to serve the expectations of the extended family network, however at school and elsewhere they are taught to express themselves, to be independent.

As they grow older this conflict grows stronger, how do they appease the family without sacrificing their individuality? How do they conform to duty whilst pursuing self-interest? This is where you get men who are committing adultery, who are marrying women from the sub-continent but still dating other women etc etc. It is essentially a massive identity crisis which needs a book to explain, not a blog post.

We need a revolution in thought. We need strong male role models like Nazir Afsal to change this mindset. We need fathers with daughters to take ownership, if girls see their fathers helping with chores or interacting lovingly with the mother they will have certain expectations of men. If we bring our sons up to have respect for their mothers and their sisters and the women they interact with, they will not treat a woman as an object whose only purpose is to serve him.

What I find particularly tragic about this case is that the prevention is not just education or strong role models, we need a fundamental change in the way women are perceived and treated. They cannot be seen as objects of honour or shame. They cannot be bargaining tools used to play politics via the means of marriage. They cannot be treated as slaves of the house.

This change will come, the tide is already turning with my generation, but we need support. Not from the self-appointed community leaders but those who care about the community, who care about the lasting traumatic effects sexual exploitation can have on a woman, how that trauma can be passed onto her children.

I believe the cure is at home, if the groomers continue to groom, and no doubt they will try, then it is on your shoulders to educate and safeguard your daughters. If you don’t, nobody else will, be it your uncle or your neighbour. The dishonour in abuse does not lie with the victim but those who are complicit in the act. Silencing a victim is just as bad as abusing her.

Child sex abuse was endemic in Sheffield, says ex care worker

Ruth, care workerThe former care worker said child abuse was endemic when she worked in Sheffield between 2002 and 2004

The sexual exploitation of teenage girls was “endemic” in Sheffield during the early 2000s, a former care home worker has claimed.

She told the BBC that girls were passed around organised groups of men and trafficked to other cities.

Her claims follow the publication of a report showing 1,400 children were sexually abused in nearby Rotherham.

Sheffield Council said it had taken action and South Yorkshire Police said it was working on 173 abuse cases.

Ruth, who has used a pseudonym to protect the identity of those who were in her care, worked at a home in the city for two years from 2002 until 2004.

Offered to men

She said her colleagues were powerless to stop the youngsters, aged between 13 and 14 years old, meeting groups of older men she said were of Asian heritage.

In one instance, she said a perpetrator rang the care home to describe the location of a girl who had been raped and left in a park.

Ruth said: “In the unit I worked in, we had four girls and three of the girls were involved in the ring of abuse.

“They would go out with the one person they trusted and thought they were building a relationship with, thought they were in love with.

“They were told how beautiful and lovely they were… and then they would be offered to other men in the circle or taken out of the city to pre-arranged areas to be used.”

Ruth said many of the care staff she worked with tried to protect the girls.

But she said: “You can’t drag them back in, you can’t force them back in, all you can try and do is persuade them that you want to keep them safe.

“And occasionally some of the care workers would go out in cars and drive around and just see if we could see the girls, which put us at great risk, but we were so desperate and so frustrated with the lack of anything being done for them.

173 investigations

“It was endemic… it was absolutely endemic throughout.

“I think the whole system failed the girls. Completely and utterly failed.”

Sheffield City Council said its child sexual exploitation service had taken action at the time including offering counselling and one-to-one work, as well as individual plans to support young people.

“These plans included how any adults suspected of being involved in the sexual exploitation of young people were to be monitored, and information passed to the police,” a council spokesman said.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said there were currently 173 live investigations into child exploitation across South Yorkshire and it took allegations of child abuse “extremely seriously”.

“We continue to encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual violence or anyone who believes that they have information about this type of crime to come forward,” he said.


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Join the Conversation. Prepare for the Confrontation.

Proteccion Para Ella

Ella nos dio la VIDA, Demosle la SUYA.

Don't Give Up Your Daydream!

Cpl Kerkman Reference Guide

A collection of philosophical writings and awesome poems written with my Marines in Mind.