“Culturally sensitive” British cop has to check to see if pedophile can have a 12-year-old girlfriend

This is in today’s Sunday Times of London, but the rest of the story is behind a paywall unless you register. Readers Paul and Malcolm, however, sent me the full text.

Click on the screenshot to see the truncated article:

Full text:

A police officer phoned a charity to ask whether it was “culturally acceptable” for an Iraqi paedophile to have a 12-year-old girlfriend.

The detective had arrested the 26-year-old man but wanted to be “culturally sensitive” after the suspect said the relationship was acceptable in his community. Karma Nirvana, the charity that took the call, told the officer to deal with the man as he would any other suspected child abuser.

The charity, which works with victims of forced marriage, said that the case showed the danger of officers whose professional judgment was clouded by fear of being called racist.

The call log, shared with The Times, says that the policeman asked for advice because “the accused is stating that it is ‘completely acceptable in my culture to be with a 12-year-old’.” It says the officer “ ‘just wished to know if it is accepted in Iraqi culture to be with a 12-year-old girl’ as he wished to be ‘culturally sensitive’.”

The call adviser replied that no culture or religion could justify such abuse.

Jasvinder Sanghera, the charity’s founder, said there was an attitude of “turning a blind eye because of culture” within the police and councils.

Look, if the police think it’s okay to for a man to have a twelve-year-old girlfriend, it’s time to give the British coppers some sensitivity training in Western culture.

64 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I can’t see the entire story due to a paywall. But there is an angle that I’d like to have confirmed before jumping on the condemnation bandwagon.

    Was this call made prior to an arrest and was the treatment of the 26 year old man going to depend on the answer to this question?

    I can imagine a scenario where a cop (or anyone else) is told “this is normal in xxx community” and determines to find out if that is true or not. All he’s accused of in the bit I can read is asking a question that is plausibly sensible.

    • Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      The call was made after an arrest, but yes, the answer to the call may well have affected what happened next — whether he was charged, and what with, or let go, or dealt with under a “caution” as opposed to being taken to court.

      • GBJames
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        “… may well have affected…

        Do we know this? Is it attested to or are we just assuming?

        • Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

          It’s an assumption but why else would a policeman ask the question?

          And the answer (“Karma Nirvana, the charity that took the call, told the officer to deal with the man as he would any other suspected child abuser”) suggests that the conversation was about how the man should be treated.

          • GBJames
            Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

            Why else? Seriously? How about this… maybe he was curious to find out whether it is actually the case that this community actually tolerates this sort of behavior.

            It is entirely possible, from current evidence, that we have an officer who is ignorant of cultural norms within this community and tries to learn something. Alternatively he might have been overly concerned about being called racist. I don’t know the answer but assuming the latter isn’t warranted as far as I can see.

            • Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

              The source for this story is the charity. We have:

              “The charity, which works with victims of forced marriage, said that the case showed the danger of officers whose professional judgment was clouded by fear of being called racist.”

              They charity would not have said that unless they thought that the policeman’s decision-making might have been affected by “cultural sensitivity”.

              • Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

                And they say he asked for ‘advice’ not just information.

            • wetherjeff
              Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

              I’m afraid I don’t accept that at all. Whether his community tolerates this behaviour is of absolutely no consequence whatsoever. This happened in the UK, the man is therefore subject to UK law. What if the guy stabbed his cousin to death and played the cultural card? Do we really think the cop would call and check whether murder was socially acceptable? What if an Irish Gypsy claimed the same thing about having sex with his thirteen year old niece? Would the cop make an effort to acquaint himself with the relevant cultural norms?

              I am sick to the back teeth of the exceptional treatment given to the Muslim community in the UK, especially when it relates to sexual crimes. And that is not because I’m anti-Muslim (I’m not), it’s because I am anti-crime, anti-racist, anti-right wing, and anti-Brexit. This sort of thing provides the nationalist, anti-immigrant, anti-EU crowd with all the ammunition they need to turn the general public to the right, while screwing the rest of us in the process. It also represents a disgusting dereliction of duty to this girl and thousands of others that have been affected by these issues.

              As a UK citizen I am confident that none of my (mostly very liberal) friends would think this policeman’s behaviour was acceptable, or even excusable, and nearly all would be appalled. Without this sort of establishment kowtowing Tommy Robinson and his ilk would have much less to feed off and the UK would not be in the chaotic, divided mess that it currently is.

            • GBJames
              Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

              @wetherjeff:

              You seem to mistake my desire for clarity with some form of excuse for special treatment for Muslims by the law. You’re mistaken. I’m a strong supporter of One Law for All.

              But that doesn’t mean that you or I know what actually is going on with this story. There are many conclusions about the motives of this officer being drawn on the basis of incomplete information. There are reasonable explanations for his behavior that exist, at least without more information.

              • wetherjeff
                Posted August 5, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

                Exactly what clarity is required though? I don’t understand. Even if the point is to check whether he is lying it makes NO material difference. If he comes to the UK he follows the law, simple as that. Ignorance of the law is not a valid defence. Would further clarity be required if he was drink driving in a Muslim neighbourhood and killed a Muslim child? “Its OK officer I’m allowed to have a skinfull in Iraq, drink driving or knocking down girls in the street isn’t a thing in our community, we also carry machine guns which explains that one in my boot”. Would the cop be justified in calling a charity to check it was OK in Basra or Baghdad to drive while pissed and carry machine guns? What would be the point of such an enquiry by the cop? And why would that be unjustified but calling a charity about the (possible/probable) statutory rape of a 12 year old be acceptable? I’m not being obtuse, I am really interested in why one call is justified and not the other, or even why both calls are ok?

              • GBJames
                Posted August 5, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

                You don’t know the cop’s motive. I don’t know it. There is no info in the story that allows us to know. Neither of us knows beans about the cop.

                I’m willing to admit I don’t know. You’re not. You just want to assume the answer because you just can’t imagine anything else. I offered one possibility, but the fact remains, we don’t know his motive.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

              I think it’s possible you have a point GB James. The detective may not have been going to treat this paedo any differently to any other paedo, but was looking for evidence that the suspect was a liar. I can imagine the suspect being arrogant and charming and challenging the detective on his knowledge of Iraqi culture, so the detective followed that thread. He may have been just making an effort to be thorough and careful.

              The detective can’t comment to defend himself, and the charity wants to publicize itself and expose the double standard that often exists when it comes to women and girls. The detective both couldn’t have and wouldn’t have given his motive for asking – just the facts. The charity has assumed what most people have, and proven themselves untrustworthy in this instance. This was bound to get attention because of the multiple cases where girls/women have been abused in such cases in the past and police turned a blind eye.

              It’s good the detective went to a charity that fights forced marriage, the opinion of which is more reliable and more likely to oppose the paedo, than some other sources in the community, so that supports the idea he wanted to charge this man.

              There may also be other pending arrests in the same community, so the detective wanted to make sure of where he stood for the future.

              I also agree with a lot of what wetherjeff says below. It may have done more harm than good for this query to be publicized though.

              • GBJames
                Posted August 5, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

                I’m trying, Heather! 😉

            • Posted August 6, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

              …we have an officer who is ignorant of cultural norms within this community and tries to learn something.

              What we have is a perp ignorant of cultural norms and the law within his community — Britain — and completely unwilling to learn or assimilate.

              This will be the death of Western civilization.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Thank you GBJ. That’s exactly my conclusion. The suspect made a statement and the cop was checking whether it was true. He would have been lax in his duty if he had not checked it.

      Anything more than that is just supposition.

      cr

    • Posted August 6, 2018 at 4:44 am | Permalink

      The full text of the article is in Jerry’s post.

      Yes the man had been arrested and yes the answer to the question might have changed the way the police dealt with him. If the man >i>genuinely thought what he did was acceptable because he had been told this by his family and peers, as opposed to him just playing the “you’re oppressing me” card to get away with something he knew to be illegal, I’m sure it would affect the way he was dealt with.

  2. JB
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Not unsimilar to the thinking that led to the Rotherham tragedy.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I would guess this policeman is in dire need of additional training. Does he not know the law he must follow is British law, not what is permissible in any other country? If he is not sure, the place he should be calling is his supervisor not Karma Nirvana.

    • Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Indeed!

    • Bob Murray
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      According to the story the bloke was arrested and presumably in custody. He had been deprived of his liberty.
      The bloke had said that it was acceptable in his culture. The hairy arsed copper thinks (slowly – granted)”Is that true?”
      So to counter a potential or partial legal defence, he asks advice.
      Yeah he needs lots of remedial training!
      The evidence gatherer, gathers facts to present to the CPS (English and Welsh prosecuting body) who will decide whether the matter gets to the court or not.

      • Posted August 6, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Except it is true.

        • Bob Murray
          Posted August 6, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          So? The bizzie appears to have done his job correctly. That is what was at question here.
          The morality of cultural Islam is a separate issue altogether. I feel that most at this site have no disagreement about this blokes claim and its repugnancy.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted August 6, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

            Bizzie? Are you a Scouser Bob? 🙂

            • Bob Murray
              Posted August 6, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

              Plastic!

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    This is a fishy story.

    Nothing about The Times on Jas Sanghera’s Twitter [she founded Karma Nirvana]:-
    https://twitter.com/jas_sanghera_kn?lang=en

    I don’t think Karma Nirvana would share call logs & tapes with the press any more than the Samaritans would. They work with “victims & survivors of Forced Marriage & Honour Based Abuse” – absolute discretion is central to their operating practises. I suspect they would have reported the policeman involved to his superiors [& perhaps they did], but they would not reveal details that could lead to an identification of the victim.

    Jihad Watch had something on this, but it’s 404 now [I think – could be my locale]

    Info on KARMA NIRVANA

    • Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      “I don’t think Karma Nirvana would share call logs & tapes with the press …”

      It would be very unlike The Times to say: “The call log, shared with The Times, says that …” unless it were true.

      They can make mistakes and they have their biases, as everyone does, but they are as reputable as a newspaper gets.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        I don’t believe it all the same. It is utterly improper for KN to behave that way & to release the nationality & age of the abuser is not something they would do – it’s enough info to identify the girl to people within her community.

        The fact that Jas’ Twitter doesn’t yet mention this affair suggests to me it’s more likely an unofficial leak, & whoever is speaking for KN is not directly named – it is implied but not written that it came from Jas [see last sentence of quote]

        There is this interesting Jas tweet from two days before the Times story:

    • mikeyc
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      An adult man has a twelve year old “girlfriend” and this cop had to ask if it was appropriate anywhere?!

      There is no excuse whatsoever.

      • mikeyc
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        whoops. I borked that. I wasn’t trying to respond to you, Michael (though thanks for the link) – I wasn’t paying close attention to reply.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          s’OK 🙂

      • GBJames
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        @mikeyc: But the fact is that it is considered appropriate somewhere (among, I suspect, a surprising number of people who are from somewhere where this sort of arrangement is not uncommon.

        It is not a question of whether it should be acceptable anywhere.

        If the cop was educating himself about how people somewhere might think this appropriate, he should not be castigated.

  5. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Nice video of Jas:

  6. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    What is so hard to understand about the concept of ONE LAW FOR ALL????

    • Pw
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      You have to understand the intersectional left, they do not want one law for all. They are just as opposed to the rule of law as Trump, instead of special treatment for their family and friends they want special treatment according to the oppression hierarchy. The irony is that they want to literally create “structures of oppression” to fight oppression.

  7. BJ
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    This isn’t really much of a surprise when one remembers what happened for over a decade in Rotherham and several other cities in England. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotherham_child_sexual_exploitation_scandal

    In at least two cases, fathers trying to save their daughters from the places where they were being held and raped were arrested for trying, rather than the police arresting the abusers. Fathers who went to police stations to report what was happening to their own children were forced to leave the station under threat of arrest. The police already knew about the abuse (to the tune of over 1400 being sexually abused, raped, and imprisoned by these gangs), and they were more concerned with allowing that to continue/continuing to cover it up/being tolerant of cultural differences.

    https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/rotherham-dads-were-arrested-after-tracking-down-abusers-1-6807187

    One needs to read the government report on the whole affair to believe the enormity and deference toward “tolerance” that led to this.

    Thankfully, the person in this case was actually arrested.

  8. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I thought the Unitarian church had gone bonkers when in the summer of 2001 they voted against issuing a statement condemning the Taliban for blowing up ancient Buddhist statues. (This was 2 months before 9/11. Proposition lost by 3 votes out of nearly 1200).

    That pales compared to this.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Religion poisons everything. 😦

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Well, I would apply that to PCism or any other form of rigid thinking any more. (And rigid static thinking prevails in many religions.) But I don’t think this British cop was being motivated by religion.

        • Posted August 5, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          I think he was. Just not a religion he believes in.

  9. JezGrove
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Shocking, if true. (I’m surprised the story hasn’t been picked up by other reliable news sources.) But the British police aren’t all bad: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-nottinghamshire-44669555/duck-family-guided-safely-by-officer-through-city

  10. dd
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I first saw that at Breitbart.

    Wonder if the usual American suspects will report it. (Well, we can answer that.)

    Gays (and Jews) have no future in Europe because at some point, hierarchies of victimhood will become part of culture. And I don’t think they will favor either group.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Because “Gays (and Jews)” have always received such staunch support from the rightwing. Israelis, and pro-Israel American Jews, will come to rue the day they made common cause with rightwing American evangelical Xtians (just as right-wing Israelis will come to rue the day the Netanyahu government came to play footsies with Saudi Arabia and Vladimir Putin).

  11. Posted August 5, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    “The call adviser replied that no culture or religion could justify such abuse”

    Call adviser, you rock!

  12. David Evans
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    The Sunday Times article is not behind a paywall, you can read it by registering for free. I don’t think it contains any information that isn’t already in this report.

  13. Diane G
    Posted August 6, 2018 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    sub

  14. Posted August 6, 2018 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    I’m going to be slightly argumentative on this one and suggest that, on the facts available from the story (which is very short and lacking in detail), the police officer did nothing wrong.

    Firstly we do not know how serious the offence was for which the man was arrested. There is no information in the story about whether the man had already had sex with the girl.

    Secondly, I don’t think it’s beyond the bounds of credibility that the man genuinely thought it was OK to have a 12 year old girlfriend. We are talking about a religion whose founder is widely believed to have taken a nine year old wife and some of whose members murder gay people by throwing them off high buildings or murder female members of their own families for not marrying the right person.

    The police and courts have some latitude in how they treat a case and it seems obvious to me that you’d treat a man who had been brainwashed into believing what he did was right differently to one who was just playing the “oppression card” to try to get away with it, even if he raped the girl and is going to prison for sure.

    • GBJames
      Posted August 6, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      You are right-on here. “On the available evidence” is the critical phrase.

      I get really uneasy when the crime in question is asking a question.

      • friendlypig
        Posted August 6, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        It is basic police training. The question should not have been asked!

        • GBJames
          Posted August 6, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

          What additional information do you have that clarifies the cop’s motive?

          • friendlypig
            Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

            Really what you might consider to be the cop’s motive, if there was one, only serves to highlight his ignorance. Sexual relations is well and truly covered during thirteen weeks of basic training and tested during examinations. There is no justification for the question to be asked. If he had been in any doubt whatsoever every police force has their own training school; making an enquiry from an outside charity only compounds his offence.

            • GBJames
              Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

              Ignorance and malfeasance are very different. The former can be resolved. That is, possibly, what the cop’s motivation was.

              I don’t think there is any sound justification for “questions should not be asked”, assuming they are legitimate questions seeking honest answers. I don’t know if that is the case here. I doin’t think you know either.

              • friendlypig
                Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

                Of course questions should be asked but you’re missing the point. Firstly the officer concerned should have known. With the grooming of underage girls by gangs of muslim males, particularly in the north of England, not have known is ridiculous. Secondly, the reason we have supervisory officer in the police is to answer questions, the fact that he took his ignorance to an outside body simply compounds his lack of knowledge.

              • GBJames
                Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

                Maybe he should have known. But maybe he didn’t. In that case his crime is ignorance. Plenty of people commit that offense on a regular basis.

                Please don’t misunderstand me. It is possible, perhaps even likely, that this cop was badly out of line. But we don’t know that because this story is lacking considerable detail and has the flavor of making a political point instead of providing a more complete account.

        • Posted August 6, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

          What is basic police training?

          Can you tell from the story exactly what crime the man was arrested for?

          • wetherjeff
            Posted August 7, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

            Basic training has since expanded in length and scope. It is now approx 18 weeks residential (usually), and then ongoing study in classroom and on the job training for two years. This is only considered the very beginning – training is extensive and ongoing and has a big focus on diversity and communities. Additional study is strongly encouraged and many officers pursue law degrees part-time. The days when the British police were just a bobby clipping pickpockets round the ear are long gone.

    • wetherjeff
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      I’m going to counter your argument if I may, but I’ll be brief as I have posted quite a bit on here. Firstly, it really is not plausible that a UK police officer working on such issues, in such communities, would have to genuinely check. I’ve explained why in more detail below in another (long) post below.
      Secondly, it isn’t beyond the bounds of credibility the suspect thought it was OK. But as you point out he might also believe it’s OK to throw gay people off buildings – should the cop check that with a community spokesperson too? What if believes Jews are Islam’s mortal enemies and attacks on them are supported by the Koran.
      The suspect’s religious beliefs are often taken into consideration, but only when committing crimes within their own communities. Over the last 15 years non-Muslim victims were often simply ignored, here is one example of thousands: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/rotherham-grooming-gang-sexual-abuse-muslim-islamist-racism-white-girls-religious-extremism-a8261831.html. Scandalously, many parents were arrested, their complaints against the perpetrators being judged racist!
      Thirdly, it isn’t even a partial legal defence, at least in the UK and any British police officer would know that. If it seems obvious you’d treat him differently because he’d been ‘brainwashed’, what about an Islamic terrorist that killed dozens of innocents? Almost by necessity he would have been brainwashed to believe it was right, would you be lenient on him and his cohorts? If not, why not? And what does that tell you about this offence and this community – special treatment?
      I’ve asked similar questions a few times on this thread and no one has provided an answer yet.
      I’m not being deliberately argumentative, I feel strongly about it. This is an important issue and does a lot of harm to race relations in the UK and give the right-wing populists all the ammunition they will ever need to create division and send us further up shit creek than we already are.
      Anyway that is me done here – I have commented enough on this thread, and am probably nearing a warning 😊.

  15. Posted August 6, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

  16. Sohan
    Posted August 6, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    //Look, if the police think it’s okay to for a man to have a twelve-year-old girlfriend, it’s time to give the British coppers some sensitivity training in Western culture.//
    *modern* *high* Western culture.
    e.g. English royal ancestor Margaret of Beaufort was married at 12 and pregnant by 13 just a few centuries ago
    Also, https://www.newsweek.com/anti-child-marriage-bill-poised-become-law-florida-where-children-young-13-839569

    • Posted August 6, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      I hope this was an attempt at humour. Margaret of Beaufort lived in the 15th century. I know the current British royal family is dysfunctional, but they don’t marry 12-year-olds.

  17. friendlypig
    Posted August 6, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Although I retired from the police in the UK in 1993 the law has not changed, and the if true the copper that asked the question should be sacked.

    The law is quite clear: The maximum penalty for rape or sexual penetration of a child under 13 is life imprisonment. For sexual assault, the maximum is 14 years. These offences can be committed by anyone aged 10 or older, the age of criminal responsibility

    I hope that settles the question. Ian

    • Posted August 6, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      The law is quite clear: The maximum penalty for rape or sexual penetration of a child under 13 is life imprisonment

      What is your source that the man was arrested for rape or sexual penetration? It’s not clear from the story that sexual relations occurred.

      If the maximum sentence is life, that implies that there is some latitude to give a lower sentence. I would have thought that a man sincerely believing it was OK because he was brainwashed by his family and/or peers would be justification not to hand out the maximum sentence.

      • friendlypig
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Had the man been arrested for an offence involving sexual penetration, where ejaculation is not necessary. Then the question would not have been asked, CID would have been involved and this point would not have arisen.

        There is lots of flexibility in sentencing policy available to the courts and it the circumstances would determine the outcome.

        Things that could be taken into consideration include the age of the girl and whether the male involved had attained the age of 21. If he has, he virtually has no defence, he is expected to know, and claims of brainwashing or a ‘simple mistake’ is really irrelevant.

        • friendlypig
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

          If the offence is one of rape then as long as the male has reached the age of ten years the offence can be committed, although below fourteen years of age then the prosecution has to show that the boy knew that it was wrong.

  18. wetherjeff
    Posted August 6, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    To suggest that this was a reasonable question for the cop to ask is, on the face of it, a reasonable view to take. But I suspect those who hold that view are not particularly familiar with multi-cultural policing in the UK, and the profile of these issues in UK society. Any UK policeman dealing with these issues, especially in a multi-cultural area would be extremely well trained in them. Their training covers an inordinate amount of information on communities, cultural sensitivity, social norms etc.
    In wider public life the phenomenon of Muslim grooming gangs carries a very high profile, as do underage and forced marriage, especially in SE Asian communities. ALL law enforcement officers in the UK are minutely aware of these issues, and it’s just not plausible that a UK cop would need to genuinely ask this question for information purposes. However, many UK police officers (and whole forces) are terrified of being labelled racist. I grew up in a large northern city and I know two police officers still working in that city. The hoops they have to jump through to ensure they don’t appear racist are quite incredible and often infuriating for my friends (probably the least racist people you could meet). However, they would never claim they aren’t prepared to deal these issues as the level of training and guidance they receive in support is extensive.
    I urge anyone who is not familiar with this subject in the UK to read up on the utterly appalling Rotherham scandal. The scale and seriousness of the abuse committed towards young girls (1400 of them) was truly staggering. In many, maybe most, cases the girls were often treated as property and passed around like pieces of meat. What’s worse is that the UK authorities turned a blind eye and let it go on for years. This was all in the spirit of tolerance and ‘cultural sensitivity’ towards the Muslim communities involved. Police, local authority children’s services, social workers, teachers and even doctors were too scared to take affirmative action for fear of being regarded as intolerant or racist. This was repeated in a whole bunch of other towns and cities, leaving many thousands of girls affected and scores of criminals, guilty of the worst and most degrading abuse walking free.
    This is such a high-profile issue in the UK I simply cannot believe that any police officer would have a genuine reason to ask a charity about a guy with a 12-year-old girlfriend. To claim that they were unaware and required clarification on community norms is not realistic, it’s also a moot point regarding the law as it would not be allowed to contribute to his defence, particularly at such an early stage. The CPS certainly would not use that information in deciding whether he should be charged, which is the stage this was at by the look of it. As a comparison, can you imagine if he had attacked and stabbed a Jew, offering as justification the fact that violent anti-Semitism is rife in his community? “Many of us do it back in Iraq, we hate them!” – would that be considered a realistic contribution to his defence? Would a phone call to a relevant charity be justified?
    Sadly, this was almost certainly a cop that was terrified of appearing culturally insensitive or racist and concerned with covering his ass, so when the paperwork was reviewed the box was ticked. This is no doubt why the charity shared the info – they see the harm resulting from this ‘culturally sensitive’ approach and are frustrated at the lack of progress following Rotherham, Oldham and countless other cases around the country.
    The subject of young Muslim men abusing girls is a major cause of community tensions in many areas and perfect fuel for the far right, anti-immigrant lot. For the state to then apply special measures aimed at being sensitive to the abusers is like throwing a ton of fireworks in a small fire. This really is a case of double standards. It wouldn’t happen with any other community group, and any other crime and it is the best ammunition the right-wing populists could ever ask for. It both annoys and depresses me.


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