The Telegraph’s Martin Beckford reports a statement by Deputy Children’s Commissioner Sue Berelowitz that child abuse is happening "in every town, village and hamlet in England".
No argument: more victims of child sexual abuse will encounter crisis intervention services as adults than will ever be seen by social services as children. I admire her willingness to break taboos by adding that sexual exploitation of children happens in "white, Pakistani, Afghan, Gypsy and Romany traveller" communities.
The context of her remarks, however, provides food for thought. The first session of the Home Affairs Committee’s enquiry into child exploitation met today, focussing on the recent Rochdale trial of 11 Pakistani men for grooming and abusing five girls (although one Committee member suggested that all 47 witnesses to this may actually be victims, and will be included in the post-trial enquiry).
Members said repeatedly that there is no racial element to child abuse, and they’re absolutely right. If you name any large organisation, for example, it’s probable that it will contain at least somebody who has been a victim or even a perpetrator of some degree of child abuse.
I hope, however, that the enquiry will dedicate a sub-committee to non-internet-based grooming of girls by organised gangs of men. This will require courage, because perpetrators in this sub-group are largely Muslim and victims non-Muslim. In his recent Vox Africa appearance Tommy Robinson (right) quoted grimly familiar figures: 100 victims in Blackpool, 60 in Telford, 30 in Derby, and the list goes on.
I agree with Ms Berelowitz that all communities must be investigated, but to widen the net merely to dilute the attention on one ethnicity would be a dereliction of duty. Should she be invited to turn a blind eye to Muslim grooming of non-Muslim children, however, the EDL is here to help her refocus.
Click here for a video-recording of the Home Affairs Committee's enquiry into Rochdale - 2 hrs 10 min long, but worth a watch if you have the time