Hundreds of white girls, many as young as 12, are being lured into a world of group sex and prostitution by gangs of British born Pakistani men from West and South Yorkshire. The girls are being introduced to their future ‘pimps’ by their classmates, often the brothers and cousins of these older men.
If that sounds familiar then you won’t be surprised to learn this was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary last year, titled Edge of the City, that sparked a big controversy when it was pulled from TV the first time around.
But the description above isn’t from last year – it is from a BBC Radio Five Live documentary broadcast this Sunday, 18th September.
The report looked at the way in which “these children are ‘groomed’ into believing that these ‘pimps’ are in fact their boyfriends”. It also asks why “so many of the men implicated in these crimes are British Pakistanis”.
Did Five Live simply regurgitated what was covered last year? In fact the truth is worse than that.
It covered the same area (and slightly more) as the C4 doc. According to my sources, after the C4 report, West Yorkshire police set up a special unit to deal with the problem. But that was recently shut down without explanation.
Many, including the local community leaders (useless themselves in this), say the police is too afraid to tackle the issue – too politically correct and unwilling to disturb racial and religious sensibilities. The police also did not take part in the documentary or give any statement to the makers of the Five Live documentary. No explanation given.
According to some sources I have, the problem is more widespread than the police itself is willing to admit. Yet they haven’t done anything about it.
This is political correctness gone mad, something the journalists involved indicated in a Five Live phone-in on Monday morning.
But there is another angle to all this. Sunday’s doc had no reference to C4′s investigation, so there was no context. The impression was given that this is a different case and quite possibly a different part of the country.
What it should have said was – “A year after C4 uncovered abuse by Pakistani men of young white girls, nothing seems to have changed. The abuse is carrying on, the police is powerless and has done little, and neither have the so-called community leaders.”
That would brought focus to why the police is failing the local community in tackling these youths.
While being interviewed on radio the morning after it was first shown on Channel 4, because of the controversy and my stance, I was frequently asked if this was a widespread problem, implying whether Muslim (or Asian) men picked on young white girls for cultural reasons.
That is of course rubbish, and these are simply criminals, but the implication is there. But we should not deny that there is an element of racism in all this – the Pakistani guys intentionally go for young white girls, according to some, because they see them as “easy”. Or maybe because they feel the community will look away because the girls are not Asian.
All this makes the BBC’s lack of context all the more dangerous.
Last time around the BNP and some of the right-wing press also used C4′s documentary to further their own agenda (immigration, Islamophobia – you name it). This time they could have done it again. Except no one, including the BNP, seems to have picked up on it.
Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, I’m not sure. Given there are innocent lives being destroyed here, I suspect it’s the latter. It would have been better if Five Live had given this proper context nevertheless.
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