Schoolgirls in Lancashire and Yorkshire are falling prey to sinister gangs of pimps. Two men have been sent to jail, but the girls' mothers, not the police, are at the forefront of the crackdown. Why are the authorities so reluctant to get involved?
Would any of my readers care to guess?
At the crown court in Preston on August 10, a trial involving two Asian men caused unusual interest across a number of cities in the north of England. The defendants, Zulfqar Hussain and Qaiser Naveed, were each sentenced to five years and eight months for abduction, sexual activity with a child, and the supply of a controlled drug.
"Asian" men -- from Korea? from Vietnam? from Japan?
They had both pleaded guilty, and they were placed on the sex offenders' register for life.
It seemed a shabby, seedy episode, probably typical of many cases down the years that have involved exploitative men and naive women. Yet, until these convictions, the police in over a dozen towns and cities, including Leeds, Sheffield, Blackburn and Huddersfield, had appeared reluctant to address what many local people had perceived as a growing problem – the groups of men who had been preying on young, vulnerable girls and ensnaring them into prostitution.
The expression "ensnaring them into prostitution" does not convey the full degree of insidiousness of what is going on here.
It was a very uncomfortable scenario, not least because many of these crimes had an identifiable racial element: the gangs were Asian and the girls were white. The authorities, in the shape of politicians and the police, seemed reluctant to acknowledge this aspect of the crimes; it has been left to the mothers of the victims to speak out.
Why do you suppose that is?
Maureen's daughter Jo was one of Hussain and Naveed’s victims, having been groomed by them and a number of other Asian men when she was 14. Jo went missing from her Blackburn home 90 times during the six-month period in 2005 that she was in Hussain and Naveed’s clutches.
"I was told by one police officer that he did not 'want to start a race riot' by arresting Pakistani men for sexual offences," Maureen said. During the six months that Jo was in the clutches of these men, they raped, beat and abused her to the point where, says her mother, she did not even know who she was any more. Eventually, after she was attacked by Hussain and Naveed with an iron bar, Jo somehow found the courage to report them to police, and they were arrested. The case took 16 months to come to court. In the meantime, other pimps, undeterred by the impending trial, continued to go about their business.
The term "Asian" has become a codeward in the British press for Muslims, usually from south or southwest Asia. To use the term "Muslim" is to be Islamophobic, and using the term "Pakistani" without proper cover is borderline at best.
So what are the police doing? Lancashire police say that in the past few months they have sent letters to 70 men who were believed to be spending an unusual amount of time with young girls. The letters warn the men that the girls are underage; the men are required to sign the letter, confirming they have received and read it.
The police have started a letter-writing campaign, informing suspects of what everyone in any decent society should already know.
Instead of alerting these suspects that they are on to them, the police should just bust them, and take these guys down.
The details are left on file – but there is no guarantee that the police will take any further action if the grooming continues.
Blackburn, in common with many northern towns, is experiencing a huge upsurge in pimping, and it is an unpalatable truth for the authorities – and indeed the police – that many of the newest wave of pimps come from within the Asian community. Research, conducted in 2005 and involving 106 families seeking help from the Leeds-based campaigning organisation Coalition for the Removal of Pimping (Crop), found that in Yorkshire alone more than 30 girls were sexually exploited, with some being forced into prostitution, by what Crop says are predominantly Asian networks. As many as 200 families have gone to the organisation for advice.
Do not believe this is unrelated to defending ourselves against terrorism. As is addressed in other posts, especially those quoting Makarenko's work, terrorism is just one kind of activity in a broad world of criminality. If law enforcement would take down these networks for the other laws they break, the terrorist threat would be greatly diminished.
Other infidel bloggers write at length on why certain elements in the Islamic world feel they can do pretty much whatever they want to infidels -- if you wish, you may explore that issue for yourself.
My point here is that this sexual predation is part of the same ideology that generates suicide terror attacks. To be sure, neither sexual predation nor suicide attacks are peculiar to Islamic circles, but there is a correlation that can be denied only by sticking one's PC head in the sand -- or by willful and criminal negligence.
Many affected parents are unhappy with the police response. As this piece goes to press, the families are meeting lawyers to discuss possible action against the police. This could result in the biggest civil action ever brought against police for failing to protect children from sexual predators.
Alice Knowles, a chief inspector and the officer with responsibility for Operation Engage, set up by the police and the local authority in Blackburn to tackle the sex-grooming problem, insists her force takes a robust approach to tackling the problem of sexual predators such as Hussain and Naveed. "We work very closely with social services and other agencies to educate and prevent young people becoming victims, and to target and arrest offenders," says Knowles. She believes the recent sentencing of Hussain and Naveed reflects the serious nature of this crime, and that police will "continue to work very hard to demonstrate that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated in Lancashire".
I would be interested in hearing Chief Inspector Knowles candidly describe what kind of constraints she is working under. If she ever did, and word got out, she would probably be fired within the week.
The Mall in Blackburn is popular as a meeting place for the town's young men and women. Set on two floors, with over 100 high-street stores, it is brightly lit and usually busy. It teems with young women with pushchairs, elderly people window-shopping, and teenagers meeting up with their friends. The crackle of security guards' radios mingles with the cheesy piped music.
Not everyone is there to shop. Well-dressed Asian teenage boys can be found on the lookout for young white girls, following them around those stores that sell cheap jewellery and perfume. Meanwhile, older men sit on the benches, watching their workers and potential recruits in action. The older men are "employing" the boys to chat up the girls and eventually hand them over.
These "Asian" (= Muslim? Pakistani?) boys are described as well-dressed. This is a business, and significant money is being made acquiring girls as prostitutes and sex slaves. That money provides a budget so these "Asian" boys can dress nice, and sufficiently impress the girls they are luring in.
The Mall is widely known locally as the Lap because of the way young men and girls circle around the arcade, seeking each other out. The girls, keen to hook up with a boyfriend, call it "doing the Lap". Young men stop to chat to the giggling girls, teasing and flirting. To many, they look like any other group of teenagers. One security guard, asked if the men are pimps, said he neither knew nor cared. "It's the girls," he says, "they love the Pakis. We can’t get a look in." Nearby, a young man takes two of the girls into a shop, where he buys them make-up and perfume. Later on, the groups of men move on to the Vue cinema complex near Blackburn station. The younger men are on bicycles, the older ones in expensive-looking cars, sound systems blaring out bhangra and gangster rap. Girls begin to approach them, and are soon driven away in cars by the older men. It is possible that they are taken to "slag houses", where they will be sold for sex.
Too often, the money that is spent to buy "gifts" for the girls is tallied and kept track of. Later, when the girls are sold into slavery, this "debt" will come back to haunt them, and they will find that they have to work to pay for the cost of these "gifts", as well as having to pay for the cost of their room and board, clothes, transportation to wherever they are being held, and even the cost of the condoms their clients use -- assuming condoms are used, of course: the girls may not have a great deal of say in the matter as they are being raped and beaten.
Other scenarios are perhaps more common in the UK.
Meanwhile, at the Lap and the Vue, the young men swagger up and down the road wearing gold chains and diamond earrings, and clicking their fingers at girls hovering close by.
Ultimately, the girls have sex with men, and the money paid by the men to have sex with the girls goes to pay for the gold and diamonds that so impress the girls in the recruiting process.
Gemma cannot remember ever being happy, although her mother, Anni, says she was a contented child until she reached the age of 13. That was the day she fell out of puppy love. It was the day that Amir, her 24-year-old boyfriend, chose to brutally rape her.
Beginning in Part 2, we will continue with this article, but also go beyond it, examining why the criminal elements in the Pakistani immigrant community are different from the criminal elements of other immigrant communities or of native British communities.