The legacy of UK’s Pakistani Muslim predators
On May 8, 2012, nine men, of whom eight were of Pakistani background, were convicted at Liverpool Crown Court for a range of offences including trafficking within the UK, rape, sexual assault and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child. They were part of a gang who had groomed vulnerable young girls in and around Rochdale, Greater Manchester. They were given prison sentences ranging from 4 to 19 years.
Two distinct themes emerged from this trial; firstly, the perpetrators were by and large men of Pakistani heritage and the victims were young white women. On its own, there is nothing extraordinary about this.
However, in 2010, in separate trials held in Derby and Rotherham, some 14 men, overwhelmingly of Pakistani origin, were convicted of a catalogue of sexual offences against vulnerable girls, young white women – with some as young as 12 – who were groomed and sexually abused. In 18 child sexual exploitation trials since 1997 – in Derby, Leeds, Blackpool, Blackburn, Rotherham, Sheffield, Rochdale, Oldham and Birmingham – relating to street grooming of girls aged 11 to 16 involving two or more men, most of those convicted were of Pakistani heritage.
Whilst these particular trials dealt with Pakistani perpetrators and white victims, it is both inappropriate and incorrect to extrapolate from it the conclusion that all sexual offences of this type are committed by Pakistani men. For example, through the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), the government concluded after investigation that of known suspects since 2008:
38% were white
32% recorded as an unknown ethnicity
26% were Asian
3% were African American
less than 1% Chinese (...)