A recent investigation in a small English town revealed that more than 1,000 children were abused by Asian sexual grooming gangs for decades, while the local police just turned a blind eye.
Rape, brainwashing, drugging, and other crimes “thrived unchecked” in the Shropshire town since the 1970s, according to an independent investigation.
Following a 2014 report on grooming gang activity in Rotherham and investigations in other towns, similar findings were issued, and the Telford report stated that child sexual exploitation “still exists today, and is prevalent across the country as a whole.”
The inquiry’s chair, Tom Crowther QC, said “obvious signs” of exploitation were ignored, such as teenage pregnancies and disappearances, as children were labelled as prostitutes or blamed for their “lifestyles,” and perpetrators went free.
In previous reports from other regions, the actions of mostly “Asian” grooming gangs were allowed to run roughshod over areas of the town because police, local officials, and others were afraid of inciting “racial tensions” in the town.
Even a task force formed in Telford to deal with Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) crimes was discovered to actively avoid suspects based on racial lines, with one witness describing an instance when evidence was brought to the team: “I said no, and that was because of the Asian element, you know, we’re going to be on to a loser.”
The report went on to describe how, up until around 2010, certain areas were perceived by police as “no-go zones” controlled by Pakistani and Indian youths, with officers facing abuse, threats, intimidation, and even the torching of police vehicles.
At least one victim of Telford grooming gangs, 16-year-old Lucy Lowe, was murdered, and her death was then used as a threat to keep other victims quiet.
In 2000, she was murdered alongside her mother and sister by her abuser, Azhar Ali Mehmood, who set fire to their home.
Lucy gave birth to Mehmood’s first child when she was 14 and had been abused by him since she was 12, but he was not charged with any sex crimes.
Maggie Oliver, a former detective turned grooming gang whistleblower, commented on the findings saying, “We still have no senior officers being held accountable. We have the same recommendations, which are just recommendations.”
One of the survivors in Telford, writer and journalist Samantha Smith — who waived her anonymity to speak on the case — claimed that following an appearance on GB News earlier this week, she was interrogated by police, suggesting that local authorities are not keen on people highlighting the “industrial scale” of their failings to protect children from grooming gangs.
“They hunted me down, they tracked me, banged on my door, not too different to when they’re knocking on the door of a perpetrator of a potential criminal,” Smith said in fear.
Crowther noted, “Teachers and youth workers were advised not to report child sexual exploitation. Offenders were emboldened, and exploitation continued for years in the absence of a coordinated response.”