Statutory agencies identified a total of 2,092 victims of child sexual exploitation in 2013.
Too many child victims and children at risk of sexual exploitation have still not been identified by authorities despite heightened awareness following a series of high profile cases including that in Rotherham, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner has warned.
While progress has been made at a strategic level, the OCC said in a report , the evidence is that progress has not yet filtered down to the frontline. Many strategies are also relatively new so delivering them may take some time.
“There is a gap between strategy and what happens on the ground,” said Sue Berelowitz, deputy children’s commissioner for England and chair of the inquiry into gangs and child sexual exploitation. “I am concerned that some areas continue to focus on one pattern of abuse, overlooking child victims and perpetrators of some of the other types of sexual exploitation our work uncovered.”
The OCC noted that vastly different rates of child sexual exploitation have been reported in different parts of England. In one group of nine local authorities with comparable demographics and deprivation levels, the rates of known victims of child sexual exploitation vary between one and 65 per 10,000 children.
Given the similarities between all local authorities in this group, there is no reason to believe the rates should vary to this extent, the report said. Statutory agencies identified 2,092 victims of child sexual exploitation in 2013. However, only 48% of local children safeguarding boards said the agencies in their area had identified any victims at all.
On the ethnicity of perpetrators – a highly sensitive issue since the Rotherham scandal where many were of Pakistani origin – the latest report said evidence provided by police between April 2013 and March 2014 showed a large majority to be white.
Of course, these stats are no better than those on the rates of child victims. For in the time period involved, almost no Pakistani child sex abusers were arrested. Had Rotherham Council done it's job correctly, hundreds of Pakistanis would have been arrested and significantly skewed the numbers.
But it's not just Rotherham that has been very reluctant to hold Muslims accountable for destroying a generation of girls, it's been happening all over Britain. Consequently, the numbers below are completely unrealistic. The numbers should resemble, or perhaps be even worse that those of Norway and Sweden.
Half of all rapes in Norway are committed by Muslims, and every single violent rape in Oslo for the past 5 years was committed by someone of non-western heritage, the majority of whom are Muslim.
Muslims make up only 1.5% of the population in Norway.
In Sweden, the incidence of rape has sky-rocketed in the last 15-20 years since the country opened its borders to immigration. In the first decade of the 21st century, foreign-born people were between 2 and 20 times more likely to commit rape than ethnic Swedes. In the 1990s it was only 2:8 times, what will it be in the 2010s, maybe 2:50 times.
Sweden has become the country with the second highest rate of rape per capita in the world. Only tiny Lesotho, in south Africa has a higher rate. I suspect that if all police forces in the UK started registering all child sex abuse complaints and arresting those responsible regardless of race, then the UK will find itself rivaling Sweden for top spot on the list of spectacularly stupid countries.
Nineteen police forces (of a total of 38 in England) reported 1,231 perpetrators of group and gang-based child sexual exploitation. Of these 42% were white or white British, 14% Asian or Asian British, 17% black or black British and 22% of unrecorded ethnicity.
When perpetrators of all models of child sexual exploitation are included, there is a slight difference. In total, 25 police forces reported 3,968 perpetrators. 59% were white or white British, 10% Asian or Asian British, 8% black or black British and 20% of unrecorded ethnicity.
Cooperation between agencies and information sharing is still cited as a problem. Of the 38 police forces, 31 have a full information sharing protocol in place with children’s services and 81% of local safeguarding children boards report that an information sharing is in place in their area.
However, said the OCC, over half the police forces ran into barriers to information sharing, particularly from health agencies. A number of police forces say health agencies have refused to share information outright, citing patient confidentiality, or only share information when the child is subject to a protection investigation, or are not sharing information proactively. The OCC expressed its disappointment that the government has yet to publish a “myth-busting guide” on information sharing.
The commission also said it was worrying its recommendation that sex education be a statutory component of the curriculum has not been adopted by the government: “The inquiry considered age-appropriate relationships and sex education to be an important way of equipping young people with the knowledge needed to recognise abuse and understand the development of healthy relationships.”
Set up in 2011, the OCC’s national inquiry into child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups has published six reports making 37 recommendations to protect children and young people from child sexual exploitation. The latest study follows the inquiry’s final report a year ago.
Theresa May, the home secretary, has appointed Justice Lowell Goddard, the New Zealand high court judge, to chair the independent inquiry into child sex abuse. She told MPs last week she hoped to have the troubled inquiry up and running by early April and would aim to revisit past wrongs, clarify what happened and ensure children were protected from sexual abuse.
Two previous inquiry chairs stepped down after being accused of facing conflicts of interest over their links to establishment figures or institutions implicated in the historical allegations.
A home office spokeswoman said: “We have a new, tougher inspection framework for children’s services and the College of Policing has introduced new guidance for police which moves the focus of investigations away from the credibility of victims onto the credibility of the allegation.
“The Home Secretary has written to chief constables stressing the highest standards must be met and is leading cross-government work to look at the recent failures uncovered. A comprehensive action plan to address accountability, leadership and action to support victims will be published shortly.”