Local British government authorities released a report Tuesday detailing child abuse on an unimaginable scale in or near Rotherham, a town in Northern Britain. According to the report, at least 1,400 area children, mostly young girls, were sexually exploited by local men from 1997 to 2013. “Exploitation” includes rape, abuse, sex trafficking, abduction, physical violence—even tortures like soaking children in gasoline and threatening to set them on fire. The full story of how authorities came to overlook the horrific abuse happening on their watch is still unclear, but it seems political correctness played a role. WSJ:
[Report author Alexis] Jay said the scale and severity of the problem was underplayed by senior managers overseeing social care for the council, despite three reports on the issue in 2002, 2003 and 2006. Local police also gave no priority to child sexual exploitation and regarded many victims with contempt and failed to act on their abuse as a crime, she added. […]The report said that the majority of perpetrators were described as “Asian” or of Pakistani origin by victims, including the five men convicted in 2010. Still, it said, officials didn’t engage directly with the area’s Pakistani community to discuss how to address the issue, Ms. Jay said. Several council staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of alleged exploiters for fear of being seen as racist. Others remembered being told by senior staff not to do so, she said.
This is evil and incompetence of the purest sort. That political correctness may have provided some cover for so many crimes against children is far more than a scandal—it is an indictment of the institutional culture of Britain’s local authorities. According to the article, authorities are working to make sure something like this never happens again, though given their track record, that promise rings hollow. A good place to start would be to guarantee that never again will “nervousness” over sensitive race issues prevent officials from protecting the innocent.