Police's attitude to grooming victims is 'shocking', says crime expert

Professor says he has ‘minimal confidence’ grooming gang cases will be properly dealt with

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Criminology professor Roger Graef has said he has “minimal confidence” grooming gang cases will be adequately addressed unless the police starts taking girls seriously.

A gang of seven men was convicted on Monday for sexually exploiting vulnerable teenage girls in Rotherham.

Professor Graef, of the London School of Economics, told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “I hope things are being changed - at least in the CPS they are - but in social services and in councils where votes from the Muslim community matters, people feel it is too risky politically.

“It has been happening for years in some of these councils.

“Some of this came out in 2002, we're talking about many years of this being known about.

“Reports were being presented and then buried, so the degree to which you can feel any confidence that this will be addressed properly, is minimal.

“I hope the police does start listening to these girls properly.”


'It is only the tip of the iceberg' 

The Rotherham case is the first major prosecution from Operation Stovewood, an inquiry into historical child sexual exploitation in the town.

The inquiry identified more than 1,500 victims and follows after the 2014 Jay Report, which showed the shocking scale of the exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

 “It is only the tip of the iceberg but it is the police’s attitude to the girls that is absolutely shocking," Professor Graef added.

“This is a problem about children in care anyway.”

“These are children who are really vulnerable and at risk, and they need to be treated with dignity and respect,” he added.

“They need to be taken seriously. This is what the police were not doing."


'There is a double-standard' 

Watch: Saira Khan discusses Asian grooming gangs with a caller

Professor Graef also told Julia Hartley-Brewer of the “double-standard” among the men committing these crimes.

“I know someone who is doing a lot of work in Manchester, which hasn’t appeared as much as it should, where it was clear there were gangs of Pakistani men grooming and going after white women in a way that would never be allowed in their own families,” he said.

“They would possibly even kill their sisters and daughters if they did anything even faintly like this. There is a double-standard among the men who are doing this.

“They don’t talk about it publicly and in that sense, the girls who they target are very often in care or are out and about in ways that parents can’t predict.”

He added: “The reports by social services themselves were being ignored by the police or by the council.”