House of Lords debates grooming gangs

May 17, 2019 by

by Tim Dieppe, Christian Concern:

Baroness Cox secured a short debate in the House of Lords on the subject of grooming gangs this week.

The question for debate was:

“To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress has been made in the prevention of grooming gangs in Rotherham and elsewhere; and what assistance they have offered to victims and their families.”

Horrific ordeal

Opening the debate, Baroness Cox described the horrific ordeal of hundreds of young girls who have been brutally raped and abused by these gangs. She highlighted that as of October last year, Rotherham Abuse Counselling Service still had 260 people on its waiting list with an average waiting time of seven months. She then quoted Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham:

“If there had been an earthquake affecting the lives of 1,400 children in Rotherham, we would have got emergency funding from the Government to help with their recovery. However, with no such money forthcoming for child abuse, we are largely leaving victims and survivors to get on with the recovery themselves.”

Baroness Cox then proceeded to quote some devastating statistics. Between April 2017 and March 2018, the police recorded over 16,000 cases of rape of children under the age of 16 in England and Wales. This is an average of 44 rapes per day, yet only 544 rapists were convicted in 2017. Furthermore, the median time from offence to completion for child rape cases in 2017 was 2,115 days – or nearly 6 years. These are not necessarily all grooming gang offences, but there is no dataset that distinguishes between ‘grooming gang offenses’ and other forms of child sexual abuse.

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