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    Pakistani rights activists carry placards as they shout slogans during a protest against a child sex abuse scandal in Islamabad on August 10, 2015

    Cultural Factors? UK Home Secretary Reveals Why Pakistanis Join Grooming Gangs

    © AFP 2019 / Aamir QURESHI
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    In 2008 and 2009, a group of Pakistani and Afghan men sexually exploited 47 young girls in the UK town of Rochdale. The grooming gang members were only convicted in May 2012, even though victims consistently reported the incidents to police immediately after they took place.

    UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has stated that he does not rule out that men of Pakistani origin become involved in grooming gangs due to cultural reasons.

    "There could be – and I'm not saying there are – some cultural reasons from the community that those men came from, that could lead to this type of behaviour. For me to rule something out just because it would be considered sensitive would be wrong," he told the BBC.

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    Javid pointed out that it was "self-evident" that there are a high proportion of men of Pakistani heritage involved in recent high-profile child sex abuse cases and that it would be wrong to dismiss this sensitive information.

    In this regard, he specifically referred to the 2008 Rochdale grooming scandal, given that it was related to his home town and involved men of Pakistani background, like the home secretary.

    He recalled that he still visits the UK town of Rochdale because he has family there which he "deeply" cares about. 

    "When I heard about – and there has been more than one case – grooming gangs where almost every individual involved is of Pakistani heritage […] I can't help noting the fact that Rochdale is a town that means something to me and I am also of Pakistani heritage," Sajid stressed.

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    His remarks came after he was harshly criticised for tweeting in October about "sick Asian paedophiles" from the Huddersfield grooming gang, who were "finally facing justice" and found guilty of sexually abusing girls as young as 11.

    The men were convicted of more than 120 offences against 15 girls in a seven-year "campaign of rape and abuse" between 2004 and 2011.

    Twitter users remains at odds over Saijid remarks, with some posting rather sarcastic comments on the matter.

     

    In August, the UK's Court of Appeal upheld a rule to strip three members of the Rochdale grooming gang of their British citizenship, in a move that was hailed by Sajid.

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    Abdul Aziz, Adil Khan and Qari Abdul Rauf were part of the nine-strong grooming gang found guilty of grooming and sexually exploiting a number of young girls. Although victims constantly reported the incidents to police immediately after the abuse took place between 20078 and 2009, the gang members were only convicted in May 2012.

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    grooming gang, community, child abuse, victims, police, Sajid Javid, Britain, Pakistan
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