Rishi Sunak's New Task Force To Go After "Vile" Child Abusers
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday condemned the political correctness which has prevented action against “vile” criminals behind the sexual abuse of children and young women, as he unveiled plans for a new task force to go after such gangs.
The new Grooming Gangs Taskforce will involve specialist officers parachuted in to assist police forces with live child sexual exploitation and grooming investigations for stricter action against those who groom children for sexual abuse.
Rishi Sunak’s announcement came a day after his Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, said that the perpetrators of such crimes are “groups of men, almost all British Pakistani” but authorities have turned a “turn blind eye to these signs of abuse out of political correctness, out of fear, of being called racists, out of fear, of being called bigoted”.
“The safety of women and girls is paramount,” Rishi Sunak said in a statement ahead of a planned visit to Leeds and Manchester to launch the new task force.
“For too long, political correctness has stopped us from weeding out vile criminals who prey on children and young women. We will stop at nothing to stamp out these dangerous gangs,” he said.
Led by the police and supported by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), Downing Street says the task force will consist of officers with extensive experience in undertaking grooming gang investigations.
They will provide critical support to forces countrywide to root out grooming gangs and put more perpetrators behind bars. Data analysts will work alongside the task force using cutting-edge data and intelligence, including police-recorded ethnicity data, to identify the types of criminals who carry out these offences.
“This will include better data on the make-up of grooming gangs, including ethnicity, to make sure suspects cannot hide behind cultural sensitivities as a way to evade justice,” Downing Street said.
It follows Ms Braverman’s announcement to bring in “mandatory reporting” for adults working with children if they suspect or identify that a child is being abused.
Mandatory reporting was a key recommendation in a crucial Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
“The protection of children is a collective effort. Every adult must be supported to call out child sexual abuse without fear,” Ms Braverman said.
“And the despicable abusers must be brought to justice. They should not be able to hide. And they must face the full force of the law for their crimes,” the senior Indian-origin Cabinet minister said.
“That’s why I’m introducing a mandatory reporting duty and launching a call for evidence. We must address the failures identified by the inquiry and take on board the views of the thousands of victims and survivors who contributed to its findings,” she added.
Over the weekend, Ms Braverman described the issue as one of the biggest scandals left unchallenged for too long.
“What we’ve seen is a practice whereby vulnerable, white, English girls, sometimes in care, sometimes who are in challenging circumstances, being pursued and raped and drugged and harmed by gangs of British Pakistani, men who’ve worked in child abuse rings or networks,” she told ‘Sky News’.
Alongside the new task force and mandatory reporting consultation process, the UK government has also pledged to make sure grooming gang members and their ring leaders receive the toughest possible sentences.
The legislation will be introduced to make being the leader of or involved in a grooming gang a statutory aggravating factor during sentencing.
“Grooming gangs are a scourge on our society, and I want to send a clear message to anyone who exploits vulnerable children that they will face the full weight of the law,” UK Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said.
The British government said it is also bolstering support for the children’s charity – National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) – which runs a whistleblowing helpline and a public helpline, giving professionals and members of the public avenues to raise concerns about children, or about child grooming in their community.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
The post is published through a synidicated feed and is attributed to NDTV