Child sex abuse: 'half-baked report ignores Pakistani gangs'
Ministers slam report into child sex abuse that refuses to point finger at British Pakistani abusers
A REPORT into the raping by men of thousands of of children in England each year panders to political correctness by playing down the role of British Pakistani gangs who target white girls, government ministers say.
The report by Sue Berelowitz, the Deputy Children's Commissioner, says 2,409 children were victims of sex crimes by gangs or groups of men in a 14-month period from 2010 to 2011. A further 16,500 children were at "high risk" of sexual exploitation during the same period, the report says.
Just under a third of the abusers identified are Asian, but Berelowitz says it is "desperately important" that agencies don't think there is only one model of exploitation because they risk failing to identify some victims and perpetrators if they do.
But The Times says Education Secretary Michael Gove and senior government ministers believe the report deliberately plays down the role of Asian abusers and quotes a Department for Education source as saying: "Political correctness will not get in the way of preventing and uncovering child abuse."
A government source told the Daily Mail it was difficult to "overstate the contempt" with which ministers viewed the report's conclusions. And The Daily Telegraph quotes senior government ministers describing Berelowitz's submission as "hysterical and half-baked" - an unusual intervention by ministers on such a "sensitive subject".
Berelowitz denies such accusations saying it is "irresponsible" to focus on the data showing that Asian men are disproportionately involved in such abuse.
Her report says the largest proportion of the 1,514 perpetrators were white (545) and concludes that abuse is carried out by men of all backgrounds.
Children's charities mostly welcomed the report, The Independent says, but warned its conclusions show urgent action is required. Matthew Reed, head of The Children's Society, called it a "sobering reminder" that child sex abuse remains widespread.
Berelowitz's submission was only an interim report. Supported by a panel of experts, she is due to make her final recommendations in the autumn of 2013. ·