Police withheld bombshell report revealing how gangs of Muslim men were grooming more than 100 schoolgirls as young as 13 in case it inflamed racial tensions ahead of General Election
- West Midlands Police release March 2010 document for first time this week
- It says 100 mainly white children were at serious risk of being groomed
- Report says perpetrators were all Asian, which could cause tension locally
- No appeal was made and the report was published for first time this week
New revelations: West Midlands Police were warned more than 100 predominantly white children - some as young as 13 - were at serious risk of child exploitation five years ago (file picture)
Britain's second largest police force withheld a report about gangs of Muslim men grooming children in case it inflamed racial tensions ahead of a General Election, it was revealed today.
West Midlands Police were warned more than 100 predominantly white children - some as young as 13 - were at serious risk of child exploitation five years ago.
A document entitled 'Problem Profile, Operation Protection' from March 2010 reveals Asian gangs targeted schools and children's homes across the force area.
The report, written for senior officers, also reveals how white girls were used to recruit other vulnerable victims on behalf of the gangs.
But there were fears over a row ahead of the May 2010 General Election and an English Defence League rally in April leading to a 'backlash against law abiding citizens from Asian/Pakistani communities'.
Despite the warnings police did not warn the public or appeal for information about the men responsible and the report was only published this week under the Freedom of Information Act.
In one heavily redacted passage, the document reads: 'In (redacted) a teacher at a (redacted) that a group of Asian males were approaching pupils at the school gate and grooming them. Strong anecdotal evidence shows this MO (modus operandi) is being used across the force.
'Operations in other forces have identified an MO where offenders use a young girl in a children's home to target and groom other residents on their behalf.
'This has also been evidenced within the force in (redacted) and (redacted).
'The girl's motivation to recruit new victims is often that the provision of new girls provides her a way to escape the cycle of abuse.'
The report said police had identified a potential 139 victims, 78 per cent of whom were white while more than half were aged 13 to 15.
Revealed: In these documents police pin-pointed 75 grooming suspects - most with a history of sexual violence - with most being from a Muslim background from Birmingham.
Warning: The document says that all members of the gang were Asian - and nine were men and one was a woman
Redacted: The report was published by the West Midlands force for the first time this week but their names, aside from the alleged offences, have been hidden
Defence: West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Carl Foulkes says the force has come a long way since the report was written
Half of all victims, who were from Birmingham, Dudley and Walsall, lived with their parents, while 41 per cent were in care.
Police pin-pointed 75 grooming suspects - most with a history of sexual violence - with most being from a Muslim background from Birmingham.
The report stated: 'The vast majority of identified suspects (79 per cent) are Asian (59 of 75), 12 per cent are white and five per cent are African Caribbean. 62 per cent of Asian suspects are of Pakistani origin.
'Pakistani males account for half of all identified suspects in the force (37 of 75).
'Offenders are likely to have a history of previous sexual offences, as well as a wide range of other offences and convictions.
'A high level of organised criminality has now been evidenced both across the force area and regionally, with multiple offenders working together to identify, groom and abuse victims.
'In a number of organised groups victims are forced into prostitution and high levels of intimidation and force are used to keep the victims compliant.'
Concerns: The report speaks of an upcoming English Defence League march through Dudley a month later, which saw streets emptied and shops boarded up
The shocking document also highlighted fears of 'community tensions' if the police made the report's findings public.
HOW WEST MIDLANDS REPORT HAS SHADES OF ROTHERHAM SCANDAL
West Midlands Police's decision to withhold details of alleged child abuse amid fears of increasing racial tensions has shades of the scandal in Rotherham.
Police and social workers in the South Yorkshire town were accused of being too concerned about being labelled racist to speak out about the crimes involving 1,400 children.
Yesterday it emerged that the massive inquiry into the Rotherham sex abuse scandal could run until at least 2018 and has so far identified 300 suspects.
Investigators say the number of possible offenders is changing on a ‘daily basis’ and they suspect ‘thousands of offences’ have been committed.
The team has seized 92 boxes containing several thousand files and identified more than 3,300 lines of inquiry. The suspects are ‘predominantly’ Asian men from the South Yorkshire town and include two who have worked for the council. Their victims are mainly white, British, underage and ‘vulnerable’ girls.
Operation Stovewood is currently costing up to £5million every year, and is still likely to be ongoing in three years’ time – putting the total bill for the inquiry at around £15million.
So far the inquiry has backed an original estimate that 1,400 girls were abused in Rotherham during a 16-year period from 1997 to 2013.
Last night children’s charities demanded that the men should be brought to justice.
Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said: ‘Because so many vulnerable children were ignored by the authorities, groomers got away with exploiting them for years.
‘Ensuring the cases against groomers go to trial is vital in giving sexually exploited children confidence that the justice system does work for them; that if they come forward, they will be believed and supported'.
It stated: 'The predominant offender profile of Pakistani Muslim males... combined with the predominant victim profile of white females has the potential to cause significant community tensions.
'There is a potential for a backlash against the vast majority of law abiding citizens from Asian/Pakistani communities from other members of the community believing their children have been exploited.
'These factors, combined with an EDL protest in Dudley in April and a General Election in May could notably increase community tension.
'Police will be criticised if it appears we have not safeguarded vulnerable children, investigated offences and prosecuted offenders.'
The lengthy report concluded authorities in the West Midlands needed to improve its care of missing care home children.
It stated: 'There is strong evidence in the vast majority of all cases that the victims are enticed, stupefied or controlled by alcohol and a mixture of controlled drugs.
'The victims are already suffering from health conditions relating to their chaotic lifestyle and exploitation (Pregnancy, termination, STDs, neglect, and physical and psychological problems).'
West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: 'These reports, spanning six years, give a real insight into the journey we have undertaken along with our partners into investigating and tackling child sexual exploitation.
'There is no doubt that there has been a significant cultural change within the force in respect of this issue and it is now very clear that the responsibility of tackling CSE (child sexual exploitation) lies with every police officer, staff member, PCSO and special constable.
'The force has carried out extensive work to train officers across the force in how to identify and deal with CSE so we can gain as much intelligence as possible and thereby improving the outcomes for victims.
'We continue to take great steps and as a result of our efforts and without doubt the coverage within local and national media, we are seeing more victims coming forward to report abuse, knowing we will take their allegations seriously and treat them sensitively and respectfully.'