Chris Campbell, Express, August 10, 2017
Asian grooming gangs were not investigated “rigorously” enough because of political correctness, according to a former Crown Prosecution chief.
Ken Macdonald said there had been “past reluctance” to look into Muslim men who had been targeting white girls.
But speaking on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, Lord MacDonald said that was no longer the case after recent prosecutions.
The Liberal Democrat peer’s comments come after 18 people were convicted of or admitted offences in a series of trials related to child sexual exploitation in Newcastle.
He said: “I think there has been in the past a reluctance to investigate a category of crime that people might believe attaches to a particular community in circumstances where men may be targeting young women.”
Presenter John Humphrys cut in to clarify which part of the community he was referring to.
He said: “In other words, we’re talking about – by and large – Muslim men who have been targeting white girls?”
Lord Macdonald replied: “Yes, exactly.”
Mr Humphrys then asked if political correctness had “interfered with the course of justice”.
Lord Macdonald reiterated cases has not been looked into as they should have been.
He said: “I think that’s no longer the case and I think the fact that these sorts of cases are now being brought successfully demonstrates that those sorts of so-called taboos no longer exist – but I don’t think any of us can pretend that in the past these cases have been examined as rigorously as they might have been.”
He added he hoped attitudes towards young women in these cases had changed.
He said: “There’s obviously a serious issue about the way young women are regarded in these cases.
“Regarded as trash, regarded as available for sex, and this seems to be a recurring theme – and I don’t think anyone thinks now we’ve got it.
“This is a major problem, it’s a major problem in particular communities and it has to be confronted not just by law enforcement but by communities themselves.”
Lord Macdonald said he expected more cases and added he was sure there were ongoing investigations.
He said: “I think it’s a real wake-up call for communities. Not all sex crime takes place in a single community, of course we know that, that’s obvious.
“But there is a particular issue about some men in some communities who feel these young girls are trash who are available for sex.
“We all know that, we’ve seen it in this case, we’ve seen it in other cases, we know it’s going on as we speak.
“Law enforcement has a response, the police have a response, prosecutors have a response, judges have a response, but communities need a response themselves.”