Rotherham: when police and criminals collude to rape poor white girls
How does the media report on the imprisonment of three Hussain brothers – Arshid, Basharat and Bannaras? The men groomed and raped children for nearly 20 years in and around Rotherham, South Yorkshire. Some of their victims were aged 11 when their torture began.
This was a family business. The brothers’ uncle Qurban Ali was convicted of conspiracy to rape.
Their victims were forced to perform sex acts, often on several men at a time, and store guns and drugs.
‘Jessica’ was abused by Arshid Hussain when she was 14. She tells the BBC:
“At first he was really nice, he paid me compliments and took me to nice places. But then he started being very controlling, he isolated me and I wasn’t allowed to do anything without his permission. It became that the only person in my world was him. I remember my family was really trying to get me out of it – but I just thought they were against me. [Hussain] said it was because they were jealous and they didn’t want us to be together. I believed him.
“There were times when I actually thought he was going to kill me – that became on a daily basis. There were lots of people scared of the Hussains, not just children like myself. The police didn’t help – they just saw me as a child with an attitude problem. I was being mentally, physically and sexually abused. And they just left me with him.”
The Daily Star, which one supported the EDL, focuses on two other criminals:
“Sex Gangs: 2 Women Pimp Girls – Asian brothers raped kids”
Karen MacGregor, and Shelley Davies forced girls into the gang’s clutches. MacGregor – white; 58 – was convicted of conspiracy to rape. Davies – white; 40 – is guilty of false imprisonment and procuring a victim to become a prostitute.
The Mirror (Page 9): “Abuse victim ‘free; as five found guilty.
Jessica says the gang “might have had up to 2,000 victims”.
Mentions of anyone’s ethnicity in the paper’s report: none. To the Mirror, race played no part in crimes that went on for decades.
The Express (Page 2): “Facing prison, Asian brothers who raped girls”
Asian is a wide-ranging term. Would you call the victims’ European?
And speaking outside court Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, warned British Pakistanis against “burying our heads in the sand” over the problems of child abuse within the community.
Not Asian. Pakistani.
He said: “The sad reality is that in the case of on-street gang grooming, there is an over-representation of Pakistani men.
“Until British Pakistanis accept that this is a problem for our community we will not be able to eradicate this evil. Burying our head in the sand as the usual response is not good enough.”
Mr Shafiq, who said he was distantly related to some of the defendants, paid tribute to the victims who came forward and said he will never stop campaigning against “these evil people”.He said: “This is not a white conspiracy dreamt up by the far right, or victimisation of the Pakistani community, as some claim. This is a concerted effort by a minority of Pakistani men who have groomed, abused and raped young white girls.
“This is a form of racism and we shouldn’t hesitate to condemn it. Blaming or deflecting attention away from the evil men who carry out such actions is despicable.
“Just remember these were someone’s daughters or sisters. If you choose to ignore it then you are subjecting others to the threat of these groomers.”
Mr Shafiq also called South Yorkshire Police a “failed force” and called for officers who failed the victims to face justice.
Daily Mail (Pages 20-21): “Sex monsters who ruled a town”
How? Didn’t the police know?
At least 54 police officers operating in and around Rotherham are accused of turning a blind eye to more than a decade of horrific child abuse by gangs of Asian men. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating 194 allegations against officers who are said to have ignored the desperate pleas of terrified schoolgirls while they were being repeatedly raped…
The police ignored the poor and the young. They judged them to be willing victims, hard-nosed slags and slappers who knew what they were getting in to. That’s the allegation. The girls were worthless. Did police and thieves share a common view of the victims?
Victims say at least one constable molested girls. Others are said to have tipped off the grooming gang’s gun-toting ringmasters as to when their South Yorkshire colleagues were closing in…
MacGregor took in girls – all of whom were white – from children’s homes in the area, offering them a safe and comfortable living environment in her ‘Hansel and Gretal house’…
The court was told that one officer had sex with under-age girls, handed drugs to the grooming gang and tipped them off when colleagues were hunting for children in their possession. The constable denies the allegation. Another is said to have helped to broker a deal in which Arshid Hussain returned an abused girl to police on the promise he would not be arrested.
Another police officer who was mentioned in the trial – Pc Hassan Ali – died last year following a road traffic accident in Sheffield.
A tangled web. A dead copper.
Pc Ali was told he was under investigation by the IPCC on the day he was killed. The probe followed complaints about his dealings with alleged child sexual exploitation victims.
Ali wasn’t on duty when he was stuck by a blue Vauxhall Corsa on January 28. He was dressed in plain clothes. his death, we’re told, is not suspicious. Look away. Nothing to see here. Move on.
No policeman has been arrested over the abuse of hundreds of children in Rotherham. Not one.
IPCC deputy chair Rachel Cerfontyne tells media:
“Our investigative work examining allegations about how South Yorkshire Police responded to reported child sexual exploitation in Rotherham continues to expand. This is complex work dealing with non-recent allegations and involving vulnerable and traumatised victims. We are committed to ensuring the allegations are investigated sensitively and thoroughly.”
The police don’t listen. They don’t hear. They tell. It’s not complex. It’s black and white. Sit the coppers down and question them. Did you know? If not, why not? Press ‘record’ on the tape. Take a statement. Treat them as you might a non-copper, a poor black man accused of a crime against a wealthy white woman with connections to top brass, say. Justice is blind, right?
The Times (front page): “Police conspired to protect Rotherham child sex abusers”
Andrew Norfolk writes:
Corrupt police and an influential politician fuelled a culture of impunity that allowed three brothers to “own” the town of Rotherham and abuse children until their crimes were exposed by The Times. One officer had sex with under-age girls, passed drugs to the sex-grooming gang and tipped them off when colleagues were searching for missing children, a court was told.
Another helped to broker a deal in which one brother returned an abused girl to police after receiving an assurance that he “wouldn’t get done”. The jury was told that Jahangir Akhtar, the former deputy leader of Rotherham council, also took part in the handover at a petrol station.
Mr Akhtar, the former deputy chairman of South Yorkshire police and crime panel, was a relative of Arshid, Basharat and Bannaras Hussain, who behaved for years “like a pack of animals” to pursue dozens of young girls before demanding sex, often with threats of violence.
The power of a free press:
No criminal inquiry into the brothers’ offending was launched until The Times revealed in 2013 that police and social services held, but had failed to act on, detailed intelligence that Arshid Hussain was among a small group of men suspected of sexually exploiting more than 40 under-age girls.
Less than two weeks later, Rotherham council commissioned an independent inquiry by Alexis Jay, a social services expert, which found that 1,400 girls in the South Yorkshire town were groomed and abused over 16 years. The offenders were “almost all” men of Pakistani heritage.
The racial go-between:
Seven defendants stood trial, including a white British woman who was likened in court to a fairytale witch. She was found guilty of pimping children. Karen MacGregor, 59, visited children’s homes, befriended girls and invited them to live with her. To repay her kindness they were expected to have sex with the Pakistani men she knew from her job in a taxi office…
To young girls “abandoned like Hansel and Gretel” MacGregor was a mother figure who seemed to offer a place of safety, Ms Colborne said. Once “inside that gingerbread house”, children were told that they had to “start earning their keep, ie, sleep with Asians”.
Now it’s time to focus on the police. Who knew? And why was it allowed to continue?