A recent inquiry from the UK has revealed yet another paedophile grooming gang that operated in plain sight of police and social workers sixteen years ago in Manchester but absolutely nothing was done to protect at least 57 girls who were hooked on drugs, raped and left emotionally broken, including one 15-year-old who died from an overdose. This followed similar reports over the last 15 years from Rusholme, Rotherham, Peterborough, Oxford, Rochdale, Bristol, Telford, Newcastle, Aylesbury, Huddersfield, and Keighley.
It is remarkable though hardly surprising how little coverage this report received from media sources and even the main source of the report was a local Manchester newspaper, not a national one. Each time a new report on this issue is delivered, all involved wax lyrical about how lessons need to be learned. Yet none of these paedophile rings has been eradicated, including in Rotherham, another haven for grooming gangs, which experts claim are still continuing to operate.
The Manchester inquiry entitled “Operation Augusta” makes for sobering reading. Victoria Agoglia, who died from a drug overdose told her carers that she was being raped but they described her behaviour as prostitution and did nothing about the men who regularly visited her care home. Even her coroner let her carers off the hook, claiming that she had a propensity to grant “sexual favours”.
However, the report concluded that “Manchester City Council had parental responsibility for Victoria throughout this difficult period and due to poor professional practice and an absence of the most basic statutory child protection processes failed to protect her.”
In every one of the UK grooming gangs, those in authority claimed that they were afraid of being seen to be politically incorrect, as the majority of gangs comprised of Asian men, or more specifically, Pakistani men.
Writing for the Telegraph, British Pakistani journalist Aniqah Choudhri points out that Asian men are not let off the hook for other crimes and are even over-represented in UK prisons. She believes that fear of racism is just an excuse, as thousands of rape reports have been inaccurately recorded and inspections of police reports show that vulnerable women and girls were at high risk of having their cases ignored in a number of forces. Only 1.7% of reported rapes in the UK result in prosecution.
In his detailed study of eight towns and cities with paedophile grooming gangs, author of ‘Unprotected’, Norman Wells observed that in all locations, authorities looked the other way when abuse was detected, as underage sex has come to be viewed as a normal part of growing up and seen as relatively harmless as long as it is consensual.
Children were being treated as adults and believed to have the competence and autonomy to make their own choices in relation to sexual activity. There was a failure to recognise that sexual activity between young people of similar ages may still involve abuse or exploitation.
Despite claims in the UK as to its objective, explicit sex-ed has done little to address the increasing child sexual exploitation in the UK. The concerns of parents and grandparents raised in the open online consultation last year on sex-ed were completely ignored by the British government and the new RSE programme is set to start in all educational establishments schools in September 2020, with no exceptions for faith schools.
Another pattern in the grooming gangs in the UK was that it was relatively easy for gang members to bring pregnant girls for abortions and no-one asked any questions. A detailed report in the Mirror in March 2018 revealed that in Rotherham, a fifteen-year-old became pregnant six times in four years and had three abortions.
Another girl of fourteen had two abortions and was returned to her abusers hours after the second abortion. When interviewed at a later stage, she said that no-one asked her any questions about what was happening to her at that time.
It is clear that Ireland has a gang culture developing, and they operate across Ireland with little fear of the justice system. They worry only about defending their turf from rival gangs. The path is paved for similar occurrences in Ireland as the UK, now that the Irish government has introduced abortion with no restrictions to twelve weeks and no parental consent needed, it will be easy for abusers to bring girls to GPs for the abortion pill, no questions asked, just as happens in the UK, enabling abuse of young women and girls to go undetected.
And as in the UK, the social services system in Ireland has already repeatedly failed thousands of vulnerable children, so who will speak up for those who are being targeted by traffickers?
Once again, it would appear that Irish lawmakers are determined to emulate the serious errors of the UK, even when all evidence points to the disaster that this has become.