Kabeer Hassan, One of the Offenders
You may have read today that a gang of nine Asian males were found guilty of plying young vulnerable white girls with drink and drugs and passing them around for sex. Some of the victims were as young as 13.
At the time of the arrest the police declined to state the ethnicity of the gang involved, sparking a lot of speculation in the press. Today police spokespersons have repeatedly stated that these were NOT racially motivated crimes. Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood, of Greater Manchester Police said: "It is not a racial issue. This is about adults preying on vulnerable young children. It just happens that in this particular area and time the demographics were that these were Asian men." Mmm. If you do a bit of research you will find that 96% of offenders charged with these types of offences have been Asian. In particular, 83% are of Pakistani origin.
The Guardian is at pains to assure its readers that these are not racial crimes. They state. 'Despite the conviction of nine Asian men for child exploitation in Rochdale and worrying signs in the statistics, racial profiling won't help potential victims.' Seems to me that it might, unless they are suggesting racist police are targeting Asian offenders and ignoring black and white offenders.
Personally I don't care whether these crimes are labelled racist or not. The important issues are that we do more to safeguard victims, who invariably come from the ineffective liberal care system, and we do all we can to prosecute offenders, whatever their ethnicity.
I am concerned that in some cases the police seem almost too ready to make public assurances that offences are being treated as racist but, in other circumstances, are anxious to play down any possible racial aggravation.