300 young girls in Oxfordshire groomed and raped

The Guardian reports on yet another gang of men getting away with victimizing very young British women and girls. The number of girls is this relatively small compared to the 1400 estimated in other areas, but there is the same enabling circumstances: authorities are alerted and do nothing for years and years.

Serious case review slams police failure in serial abuse of Oxford girls
Some of the 300 victims were exploited for more than eight years despite repeated calls for help to authorities

Some of the report focuses on six young girls, so in fact it becomes difficult to tell sometimes whether they are talking about 6 or 300. I think all the passages below are about 6 young girls who were under the responsibility of the Oxfordshire social services.

Police and social services in Oxfordshire will be heavily criticised for not doing enough to stop years of violent abuse and enslavement of six young girls, aged 11-15, by a gang of men. Such was the nature of the abuse, suffered for more than eight years by the girls, it was likened to torture. All of the victims had a background in care.

A serious case review by the Oxfordshire safeguarding children’s board, to be published on Tuesday, will condemn Thames Valley police for not believing the young girls, for treating them as if they had chosen to adopt the lifestyle, and for failing to act on repeated calls for help.

Oxfordshire social services – which had responsibility for the girls’ safety – will be equally damned for knowing they were being groomed and for failing to protect them despite compelling evidence they were in danger. One social worker told a trial that nine out of 10 of those responsible for the girls was aware of what was going on.

All of the men were Asian, which seems to be the case in other abuse circles. In Rotherham, where 1,400 girls were abused, the reason why it seemed better and simple to the authorities to do nothing included concerns about race relations, according to earlier reports in the Guardian. Such concern does not, of course, go anywhere toward excusing the failure to protect.

9 thoughts on “300 young girls in Oxfordshire groomed and raped

  1. “All of the men were Asian, which seems to be the case in other abuse circles.”

    Some specificity, as indicated in the linked article, would help to avoid an unfortunate interpretation.

    “The reason why it seemed better and simple to the authorities to do nothing included concerns about race relations.”

    There appears to be no mention in the article about concern for “race relations.” Maybe the context where this claim appears would help to dispel obvious absurdities.

    What is cited in the linked article as an explanation for failure to act is this: “Key findings in the serious case review will expose how police officers and social workers did not listen to the girls when they spoke of the abuse they were suffering, did not believe them and dismissed them.”

  2. Is it really the fault of the government for not doing anything??? Or does this simply illuminate the inherent flaw in human nature? (that most human beings are selfish, vicious creatures). If so many people really need a government to activity prevent them from abusing other people, then there is little hope for humanity.

    The personal reason I choose to commit rape is not because it is illegal.

  3. I am immensely disturbed by the way that race is and isn’t reported in these paedophile ring stories. We never hear the Westminster paedophile ring, or the BBC one, described as white. And yet this one and Rotherham are always singled out as Asian. I’m not remotely surprised by this. But it’s appalling, and it’s damaging, and it needs to be pointed out every time it happens.

  4. Jenny, as I read your comment, I realize that I might not be aware of the force of using “Asian” in the British context. And I’ll confess that I was unsure about saying it. Perhaps my mind was a bit addled by the fairly strong anti-bios I’m now on – for a quite minor problem in fact – but I’m less sure than you are.

    For one thing, there are lots of pictures of the men which make it obvious that they are not white. And there is another reason. Let me try a contrast: the University of Houston police have decided NOT to include mention of race in all their crime reports. I think that’s a very good thing. Race is, as far as one can tell, mostly not at all directly involved. But in these cases it may be. Many of the participants in the covering up or ignoring have talked about not wanting to offend a community that feels marginalized anyway. That seems to me stupid, vexing, horribly irresponsible, etc., but we do need to know what brought it about that all these girls were left without protection.

    It wasn’t wealthy white political power, but it was a quite different kind of group power possessed by people who in fact are largely marginalized. But the British police have a long history of ignoring the power of marginalized people, such as miners, bin men (trash men), and more recently students. So I suspect there is a lot going on which we don’t understand and race may have some role, even if peculiarly mostly in the minds of city officials rather than perps.

    In contrast to reports I’ve read about white pedophile rings, there were a staggering number of alerts to the police. One woman who was a foster mother to one of the girls filed 80 reports. The result was: nothing. We all complain about the problems in reporting rapes to the police, but what these girls faced make normal police reactions to rapes looks mild in comparison.

    Still, I certainly share your worry about damage, even though there are a large number of pictures around. So it may be that I shouldn’t have picked up the story at all, rather than try to get it out fairly quickly.

  5. Hi Anne– Your explanation helps a lot. I think it’s important to state the reasons for mentioning race in these contexts.

  6. Thanks, Jenny. I think you are right about an explanation being important. In fact, as I think about it, I realize I was very sleepy. I should have left to a more reflective time.

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