Sunak targets grooming gangs with taskforce to protect women

Rishi Sunak targets grooming gangs with new taskforce to protect women and girls from ‘evil’ men as he condemns the ‘political correctness’ that has let them flourish

  • Rishi Sunak condemns political correctness that let grooming gangs proliferate
  • New laws give judges power to pass tougher sentences on leaders of those rings 
  • READ MORE: Suella Braverman to stamp out grooming gangs behind sex abuse 

A taskforce to tackle grooming gangs is being launched by Rishi Sunak today to protect women and girls from sexual abuse by ‘evil’ men.

The Prime Minister pledges to ‘stamp them out’ – and condemns the political correctness that let them proliferate.

Experienced specialist police and members of the National Crime Agency will help local investigations, and new laws will give judges the power to pass tougher sentences on the leaders of child abuse rings.

Experts will track suspects down using ‘cutting-edge intelligence’, including their ethnicity details, Downing Street said, to make sure they cannot ‘evade justice because of cultural sensitivities’.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has highlighted the racial backgrounds of those involved in some grooming gangs. 

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (pictured) pledges to ‘stamp them out’ – and condemns the political correctness that let them proliferate

She said: ‘What we’ve seen is a practice whereby vulnerable white English girls, sometimes in care, sometimes who are in challenging circumstances, being pursued and raped and drugged and harmed by gangs of British Pakistani men who have worked in child abuse rings or networks.’

The crackdown follows scandals in which the organised sexual exploitation of thousands of children in towns including Rotherham, Telford and Rochdale went unchecked because officials feared being branded racist or fuelling the far Right.

The PM, who was due to meet members of the taskforce as well as survivors of grooming gangs in Leeds and Greater Manchester today, said last night: ‘The safety of women and girls is paramount. 

‘For too long, political correctness has stopped us from weeding out vile criminals who prey on children and young women. We will stop at nothing to stamp out these dangerous gangs.’

SUELLA BRAVERMAN: My mission to ensure there really is no hiding place for the evil gangs grooming our vulnerable young girls – READ MORE 

Mrs Braverman, who has pledged to introduce mandatory reporting of suspected abuse for professionals working with children, said thousands of youngsters had been robbed of their childhoods because state agencies including ‘social workers, teachers, the police’ had turned ‘a blind eye to these signs of abuse out of political correctness, out of fear of being called racist’.

She told the BBC: ‘Some of these councillors, senior politicians in Labour-run areas, over a period of years, absolutely failed to take action because of cultural sensitivities.’

Labour’s Levelling-Up spokesman Lisa Nandy said: ‘When I was working with children and young people there were particular issues with Kurdish and Pakistani gangs in some parts of the country. 

‘There were also huge issues with white men grooming young girls online.’

But asked if Labour councils had turned a blind eye to abuse, she admitted: ‘In the cases of Rochdale and Rotherham, the reports were clear there were politicians and officers who didn’t report, sometimes for fear of political correctness.’

As Director of Public Prosecutions in 2012, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: ‘In a number of cases, particularly in cases involving groups, there’s clearly an issue of ethnicity that has to be understood and addressed.’

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