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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Child grooming

Details emerging about the extent of child grooming in this country are being accompanied by warnings not to jump to any conclusions about ethnicity just because one in five men accused of grooming under-age girls for sex is Asian.

Demographic figures show that 'British Asians' account for only 4% of the population, including around 1.8% Indians, many of whom prefer to be counted separately on account of their diversity. That leaves those of Pakistani origin at just 1.3%.

Peter Davies, head of 
the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) "will say that the research does not show that child grooming can be associated with any particular ethnic group" because "the data is so patchy that the perpetrators' ethnicity was marked as unknown in about 40% of cases". Patchy it may be but it is hard to see how people will not draw their own conclusions on the basis of these figures. Even if we assume that all the remaining 40% were white, that still leaves a hugely disproportionate level of offenders from the Asian community. Earlier this year Jack Straw was vilified for suggesting that there was a specific problem of young Pakistani men targeting white girls because they regarded them as "easy meat". The latest figures suggest he had a point.

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