In Brief

Why Sajid Javid has ordered probe into ethnicity of sex gangs

Plan revealed in letter to MP accused of racism for allegations against British Pakistani men

Sajid Javid has ordered a probe into the ethnic origins of child sexual abuse gangs, according to reports.

The home secretary said that establishing the “particular characteristics” of the perpetrators was “critical to our understanding” of why men convicted of grooming-gang sex crimes are “disproportionately of Pakistani origin”, The Times says.

Javid revealed his plans for the investigation in a letter to Sarah Champion, the Labour MP for Rotherham who has faced calls to step down after claiming in an article in The Sun last year that British Pakistani men were “raping and exploiting white girls”.

It was revealed yesterday that Champion has upped her security after receiving death threats.

According to the Daily Mail, Champion was last night defended by Javid, who in 2014 became the first British-Pakistani MP to lead a Whitehall department.

“MPs should be able to do their job without being threatened or intimidated in any way. Sarah Champion has my full support,” he said. “My officials have been working with investigating officers in relevant cases, and with the National Crime Agency, to establish the particular characteristics and contexts associated with this type of offending.

“If there is a need for further research, we will take it forward.”

The Guardian reports that Javid was responding to a letter from members of a cross-party working group on the issue of grooming crimes that includes Champion.

The MPs said they were “alarmed by the similarities in cases across the country” and called for research into “common patterns of behaviour” in towns and cities including Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, Blackpool, Keighley, Telford, Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Middlesbrough and Newcastle upon Tyne.

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