...By Muyiwa Aderinto for TDPel Media.
Rishi Sunak Urges Police to Recognize Ethnicity in Grooming Gang Cases
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called on police not to let “cultural sensitivities” hinder the prosecution of ethnic minority grooming gangs.
The Prime Minister is escalating his efforts to address sexual abuse against women and girls as part of his law and order campaign ahead of the election.
Tackling Political Correctness in Prosecution
Sunak criticized the influence of “political correctness” in allowing grooming gangs to flourish and vowed to “stamp them out.”
However, his statements and those of Home Secretary Suella Braverman have ignited heated debates with charities and the opposition.
Braverman identified “gangs of British Pakistani men” targeting “vulnerable white English girls” in child abuse rings or networks.
Nevertheless, a 2020 Home Office report found that grooming gang members are “most commonly white.”
Charity Leaders Urge a Broader Focus
After a visit to an NSPCC center in Leeds by Braverman and the Prime Minister, the charity’s CEO, Sir Peter Wanless, commented on the matter.
While he welcomed the government’s focus on the issue, he emphasized that “any child can be a victim of child sexual exploitation” and that “adult perpetrators do not just come from one background.”
Wanless called for a broader focus on the issue to avoid creating “new blind spots that prevent victims from being identified.”
New Laws and Task Force to Combat Child Abuse Rings
Specialist police and National Crime Agency members will assist local investigations, and new legislation will empower judges to impose harsher sentences on child abuse ring leaders.
Downing Street announced that experts would employ “cutting-edge intelligence,” including ethnicity details, to ensure suspects could not “evade justice because of cultural sensitivities.”
This crackdown comes after scandals in towns such as Rotherham, Telford, and Rochdale, where organized sexual exploitation of children went unaddressed due to fears of being labeled racist or fueling far-right ideologies.
Opposition Leader Calls for Honesty in Addressing the Issue
Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer agreed that ethnicity should not be a barrier and that political correctness should not obstruct prosecutions.
However, he pointed out that the majority of sexual abuse cases do not involve ethnic minorities and called for honesty in addressing the issue.
As the government implements new plans and a task force to combat grooming gangs, the debate continues over the role of ethnicity and cultural sensitivities in prosecuting these crimes.