Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Muslim immigrants and police corruption: Police in Rotherham, England tore up paperwork relating to one child sex abuse victim and stopped another from being medically examined
One woman said that a policeman called her a liar after she reported being abused aged 15, and the other said that police prevented her being examined after she was abused aged 13. South Yorkshire Police said that both cases were now with the police watchdog. A report in September 2014 by Prof Alexis Jay found that 1,400 children had been abused in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 by men of mainly Pakistani Muslim heritage. The abuse they suffered included beatings, rape and trafficking to various towns and cities in England. Two women said that police not only ignored, but actively obstructed investigations into their abuse. The two cases happened eight years apart. The women, given the pseudonyms Jenny and Carol, are part of a group of 32 preparing to sue South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Council. Their cases span nearly two decades from the 1990s until 2007. Carol was living in a children's home in the 1990s when she was taken on occasions by taxi to a South Asian restaurant in the town. In one incident she was subjected to a violent sexual assault by one of her abusers and was left bleeding. Carol said: "I told the staff at the children's home and my social worker and they said a police officer was going to to pick me up and take me to a unit. The officer that used to come to the children's home [regularly], he came and picked me up in a police car. He took me to a lay-by; kept calling me a liar, saying he'd read my files and that I was a liar and no-one was going to believe me, it was more trouble than it was worth and he ripped my paperwork up. He dropped me back at an Indian restaurant... back with my abuser." Lawyer David Greenwood, who is acting for the women in these historical cases, said: "The evidence that I've seen and the girls that I've spoken to, tell stories that suggest to me that there's something going on at a systematic level, where the police [were] actively preventing cases going forward against these perpetrators."