As a gang of men were convicted of offences against vulnerable girls, an independent inquiry said agencies "missed opportunities" to help girls involved in the case.Oh, really? Not that that's a surprise, mind you. It's just a little odd that the attention should focus on the victims, and not on how the perpetrators evaded capture for so long, isn't it?
After the abuse emerged in Operation Retriever, a serious case review was carried out by the Derby Safeguarding Children Board into two of the victims who were in local authority care.Who, presumably, weren't in local authority care. What's the percentage there?
Multi-agency reviews were also carried out into the 25 other girls involved, incorporated into the review.
The review's executive summary, published on Thursday, said there were "missed opportunities" to help all of the women.Wow! Talk about giving a dog a bad name! What predicted this for the other 25 then?
It said although it was difficult to know whether the sexual exploitation could have been predicted for the two girls in care, their background meant it was predictable they would become vulnerable adolescents at risk of abuse.
"Had there been earlier, concerted intervention in their lives to address their unmet needs, it is likely that they would have been less vulnerable as adolescents and therefore less likely to be abused," it said.I can't decide if this is a desperate attempt to focus on something else to draw attention away from the multicultural elephant in the room, or a thinly-veiled threat of what will happen if more resources are not forthcoming.
Or both...All we're missing from this is the 'lessons to be learnt' mantra.
"These conclusions are mirrored in the findings from the multi-agency reviews. There were missed opportunities to assess significant concerns in relation to the other young women and comprehensive assessments were not completed.Our world class welfare state, ladies and gentlemen...
"When they were completed, the quality of assessments was frequently poor, with little involvement of the young person and their family, and all the relevant agencies."
Yet I can't help feeling the real lesson to be learnt is being scrupulously avoided at all cost. And that's starting to dawn on others too:
Mohammed Shafiq, director of the Lancashire-based Ramadhan Foundation, a charity working for peaceful harmony between different communities, has said: ‘I think the police are overcautious because they are afraid of being branded racist. These men are criminals and should be treated as criminals — whatever their race.’Can't wait to see how the progressives handle this. Their usual cries of 'racist!' and 'It's not a big problem!' aren't really going to wash, are they?
In Derby this week, Shokat Lal, chairman of the city’s Pakistani Community Centre in the Normanton area — where many of the girls were taken to seedy flats and then sexually attacked by the gang – spoke out, too: ‘It is important that political correctness or fear of offending any particular group of people does not get in the way of protecting those who are vulnerable.
As Detective Superintendent Debbie Platt of Derbyshire Police said yesterday: ‘We were really shocked with the scale and extent of what we’d uncovered, but this is a very hidden crime.’Well, yes. Everything's 'hidden' if you studiously look the other way, isn't it?