Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman have been warned that a focus simply on race or ethnicity would be “extremely harmful” and that sexual predators do not only come from “one background.”
The home secretary singled out British-Pakistani men as a particular source of concern as the government unveiled a variety of measures to combat grooming gangs, prompting the warning from Labour, the NSPCC, and leading academics.
Mr. Sunak promised stronger punishments and a new police team, but he also guaranteed that “political correctness” about ethnicity won’t stand in the way of a campaign against grooming gangs.
With reference to prominent cases in Rotherham and Rochdale, Ms. Braverman frequently stated that “the perpetrators are groups of guys, virtually all British Pakistani.”
It is “very, very hazardous for the government to make child sexual abuse into an issue of colour,” Sabah Kaiser, the ethnic minority ambassador for the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse, told BBC Radio 4.
The Prime Minister is in northern England to launch a new set of policies that will, according to ministers, protect young girls and women from sexual assault and allow for the use of ethnicity information in police investigations.
It will reportedly be run by the police with assistance from the National Crime Agency, and its members will be police officers with “significant expertise” looking into grooming gangs.
Ministers claim that this is required to make sure that “cultural sensitivities” are not employed to prevent criminals from being caught.
Mr. Sunak vowed, “We will stop at nothing to stamp out these dangerous gangs.”