Seventeen men and one woman were found guilty of a host of sexual crimes against young women – many of them children – after a massive “grooming gang” was uncovered in Newcastle, England.
The gang, made up of mostly Muslim Middle Easterners and South Asians (commonly referred to as just “Asian” in the U.K.) preyed upon white British girls, plying them with alcohol, marijuana, mephedrone and other drugs.
The victims of sexual abuse were between the ages of 13 and 25. They were drugged unconscious and then raped or pressured into sex through physical or emotional abuse.
According to the London Guardian, one of the gang members, Badrul Hussian, allegedly yelled at a female ticket inspector on public transit:
All white women are only good for one thing. For men like me to f— and use like trash. That’s all women like you are worth.
Peter McLaughlin, author of “Easy Meat: Inside Britain’s Grooming Gang Scandal,” noted Muslims make up 5 percent of the population of the U.K. but account for 90 percent of “grooming gang” convictions.
The gangs work by targeting vulnerable individuals and abusing them emotionally, the so-called “boyfriend model” in which the victim of sexual abuse is led to believe she is in a healthy relationship.
The law-enforcement effort to take down the grooming gang, “Operation Sanctuary,” was the largest and “most complex” sex-abuse investigation in the history of the Northumbria police, according to Chief Constable Steve Ashman.
The case has startling similarities to other accounts of other “grooming gangs” in the U.K., the most well-known of which is the Rotherham scandal in which at least 300 Muslim men groomed young girls for sex over a 16-year period.
An investigation into the abuse in Rotherham found that at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited between 1997 and 2013, according to Sky News.
A report on the Rotherham scandal by professor Alexis Jay recounted how white British girls, some as young as 11, were raped, trafficked and emotionally and physically abused, predominantly by Pakistani men.
Jay criticized local authorities for failing to prevent the mass-rape of children, calling the lack of action a “blatant” failure.
Many in British law enforcement refuse to investigate claims of Muslim rape to avoid being accused of racism.
While the rampant sex crimes of the Newcastle grooming gang were not covered-up in the same way as the Rotherham scandal, two alarming details of police incompetency emerged in the Newcastle case.
A Northumbria police officer was fired after it was revealed he had a chance to uncover the activities of the grooming gang in 2012.
The officer was responsible for dealing with a complaint against Bahmani Ahmadi, a sex predator later jailed for abusing young girls.
The officer did not investigate Ahmadi’s phone, so authorities did not know he was grooming other young girls.
Ahmadi would go on to commit sex offenses against more than 10 more girls until he was arrested in 2014, according to the Evening Chronicle.
“It was grossly incompetent. If we don’t look for this abuse, we aren’t going to find it. He was grossly negligent in his duties, and he was dismissed,” Chief Constable Ashman said.
The Northumbria police also paid an informant, named as only “XY” nearly £10,000, about $13,000, to provide information to detectives, the Evening Chronicle reported.
XY was a convicted sex offender, having drugged an underage girl and having invited another man to rape her prior to becoming an informant.
Even while XY was an informant, he was arrested for another sexual offense against an underage girl but was told by police he would face no disciplinary measures.
Jon Brown, an expert on child sex abuse, blasted police for the decision.
“We are appalled to learn that police paid a child rapist and planted him in the midst of vulnerable young girls. You just couldn’t make it up,” Brown said after the existence of the informant was revealed,” he said.
It beggars belief that it would ever have been considered, let alone approved, and serious questions must be asked about the force’s approach to child sexual exploitation operations.
However good the force’s intentions, their misguided actions run entirely counter to all current child protection procedures and what we know about sex offenders and could have compromised this investigation.
According to Newcastle Crown Court Judge Penny Moreland, the information from XY was largely useless.
Moreland deemed his testimony “wholly unworthy of belief in respect of any matter at all.”
Northumbria police justified the choice, insisting XY was necessary to complete the operation.
“It’s something we always risk assess really carefully,” Chief Constable Ashman said. “What we did was risky but it paid off. We wouldn’t get that information off anyone else.”