Seven men were convicted this afternoon at the Old Bailey of various offences against six girls whom they held prisoners and subjected to gang rape and other indignities over a period of up to ten years. One doesn't need to guess from which part of the world that they, or their families, originated.
In many ways this is far, far, worse than the kidnapping of the three teenagers in the United States. The six girls concerned were vulnerable teenagers, some of whom were in the care of the Oxford County Council whilst others came from broken homes. They were the very children that our child protection services are supposed to be safeguarding.
The Telegraph reports that "Police had known about the activities of the ring for years but took no
action, allowing the abuse to continue for nearly a decade" and that "One of the victims described how she was even threatened with arrest for
wasting police time when she tried to report the abuse".
Of course there may be some small justification for the police ignoring the situation. as since the Macpherson enquiry, the police have gone out of their way to avoid getting involved any case which might have racial implications. Too often are they accused of racism when it comes to things like "stop and search". Too often are the statistics examined by the "liberal" media to "prove" that the police and justice systems are racist. In any case, from their point of view, if the Child Protection Services didn't seem worried, why should the police give the matter priority.
But when it comes to the council Child Protection Services, I can see no justification whatsoever for their inaction. They were responsible for the girls, who had been put into care for their own protection because their behaviour was out of control, and yet they totally failed in their duty.
Seemingly, some lived in a council provided care home, but nobody actually looked after them. They were known to be taking drugs, drinking, smoking and were absent from school, yet they were just treated as "bad girls" and ignored. Hardly keeping them under control and protecting them. Some of the girls were placed in a privately-run home by Oxford County Council, a home which was closed down after shortcomings were discovered.
But what about the reaction of those authorities? We just get the usual statement of regrets:
"Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire County Council social services deeply regret that this activity wasn't identified sooner and that we were too reliant on victims supporting criminal proceedings, and that they suffered a terrible ordeal."
I suppose it was something that we didn't get the usual "Lessons will be learnt", but that is not much comfort to the girls either way.
The police have also arrested another nine men from the same area as part of the overall operation, so this may just be the tip of the iceberg; one of the girls claimed that dozens more girls were involved. Local sources suggest that more investigations are taking place in the Slough and High Wycombe areas so it seems that this story has a long way to go.
My question is whether there will ever be a proper inquiry into the shortcomings of the police, the Crown prosecution service and most importantly our child protection services? Heads should roll, but they never do; meanwhile the elected police commissioner for the area is apparently more concerned with his chauffeur driven car and office than looking into matters of public concern.
Sentences have yet to be passed; I know what I'd do given half a chance, but unfortunately it is illegal. No doubt they will be sentenced to terms of imprisonment, in comfort complete with halal meals, at our expense, but will never be sent back to where they belong as their human rights probably won't allow it. What about these girls' human rights?
I despair of my country.
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