‘A storm is coming’ Vicar tells of huge grooming gang trial that will put Keighley in the spotlight.
The sheer scale of the mostly Islamic grooming gang problem in Keighley, West Yorkshire has started to emerge. A vicar, the Reverend Dr Jonathan Pritchard, who spoke at a mosque open day in Bradford, has said that a ‘storm is coming in the New Year’ because of a major grooming gang trial due to start sometime in early 2014.
The Bradford Telegraph and Argus outlined the extent of the problem with grooming gangs when they said:
“More than 40 arrests have been made during almost 20 ongoing investigations into child sexual exploitation by grooming gangs in the Bradford district.
Police yesterday revealed that 18 investigations into child sexual exploitation by such gangs were ongoing across the Bradford district and 41 arrests had been made so far.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “As yet, there have been no charges, or trials pending, but these are all live investigations.”
The spokesman added that officers in Keighley and Bradford had been undertaking a complex operation to catch those responsible for child sexual exploitation since November 2012. Most are currently on bail. “
As well as disgust that there are such a huge number of exploiters operating in West Yorkshire, the majority of whom appear, according to rumour, to be coming from the Islamic community, some may question the wisdom of giving the majority of those accused bail, but if there are no charges as yet, then there can be no remand in custody. It may well be that those who are in custody are held for reasons of other unconnected offences. Unfortunately in quite rightly not confining the alleged offenders without charge, a protection we would all want if we were accused of something that we were innocent of, the police and the legal system has ensured that opportunities for the sort of witness and victim intimidation as we have seen in other cases of this type, have been increased.
These grooming gang cases appear to be taking a considerable amount of time to get going. It may well be that because the many victims that these gangs ensnare have been so traumatised by the torture they suffered that gaining coherent statements from them is difficult. Even taking this issue into account, is worrying that 12 months on from the start of a major focus by the local police on Grooming Gangs and similar child exploitation crimes, there have been no charges. There are what we have been told are ‘live investigations’, arrests and people subjected to police bail. But no charges, no initial appearance in Magistrates Court, no custodial remands. The police have had a year but still the process of arrest-charge-committal-trial at Crown Court doesn’t seem to have advanced past the first stage.
It is understandable that the police would face difficulties in investigating these sort of cases. Victims may be reluctant to speak about their experiences for reason of either fear or misplaced and misguided loyalty to the abuser. The police are up against an Islamic community that closes ranks and will not hand over the nonces in their midst to the police, who are liable to issue a career killing ‘racism’ claim against police officers if they are not handled with kid gloves, and also whose guiding ideology has a very ambivalent attitude to child sex.
Even with all these factors being considered, the process of tackling the grooming gangs in the West Yorkshire area appears to be proceeding at a snails pace.
We should have seen much, much more than just a few arrests and we should ask the police, why so many arrests, so many police bail orders but so few charges?
The Bradford Telegraph and Argus added:
“Statistics released earlier this year showed there had been 166 arrests for all types of child sexual exploitation between March 2012 and March 2013, but only 25 people had been charged.
In June, West Yorkshire Police launched a major campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation, ‘Know The Signs’. “
That is an appalling imbalance between arrest and charge. Only 1/6th of those arrested were charged and it may well be that innocent people were arrested and released after being found not to be connected with the offences, but such an imbalance may hint at problems the police may be having in putting together cases because of factors such as traumatised victims and a wall of silence from the Islamic community about the nonces in their midst.
The political establishment in West Yorkshire looks like they may be circling the wagons and trying to make all the right noises about these crimes. An establishment that ignored or stayed silent about these crimes now wants to claim the moral highground or be fluffy peacemakers.
The Bradford Telegraph and Argus continued:
“Bradford Council’s deputy leader, Councillor Imran Hussain, in charge of Safer and Stronger Communities, said offenders would feel the full force of the law.
Coun Hussain said: “Clearly these are very, very serious offences and are top priority for both the police and the Council.
“Anybody who is involved in these offences will be caught and prosecuted. They are just inexcusable and will continue to be a top priority for us.”
Detective Chief Inspector Terry Long, of the Bradford District Safeguarding Unit, said: “Bradford District has a dedicated team working exclusively with social care and other support services to investigate any concerns relating to child sexual exploitation.
“While this partnership work is developing, the investigation requires the co-operation of the public in reporting suspicious behaviour or where there are safeguarding concerns about young children.”
One question that really should be asked of Cllr Hussain, and all those in political control of this area over the last 20 odd years is why were not these offences a top priority before? Also does DCI Terry Long really expect that the same social services departments that for many years derelicted their duty of care to the vulnerable girls who were the victims of Islamic Grooming Gangs, will act as honest brokers on this issue. Will they not obstruct justice or attempt to obstruct justice for either ideological or more venal career security reasons? I make this accusation not because I feel that all social services departments are corrupt, but because there have been allegations of deep seated problems with Bradford social services, including an allegation that Islamic Grooming Gang activity was covered up there.
Even the Church of England is trying to keep a lid on the growing anger about the Islamic Grooming Gangs that aflict so many of Britain’s Northern towns. The Reverend Dr Jonathan Pritchard, who said that a ‘storm is coming’ has tried to deflect criticism of the Islamic community of West Yorkshire by saying:
“Grooming is not about Asians or Muslims – it’s about individuals doing despicable things. These individuals have been condemned in the mosques without reserve, and we stand united with the mosques in saying that this is wrong.”
Well Reverend Pritchard, I’m afraid that you are wrong, there is an Islamic angle to these gangs and it is rooted in Islamic attitudes to non-Muslim women. In the whole 1400 years of Islam’s existence it has never condemned or banned slavery, and sex slavery in particular, when like Saudi Arabia, it did restrict slavery that was only because they were pressured to do so by civilised nations. The Southern coasts of the British Isles suffered the depredations of Islamic slaving ships for centuries until repressed by force of arms. Fishermen dropped their nets and headed or shore at the merest sight of the sails of the Islamic Corsairs. Their terror was well founded for thousands of English and Irish people were carried off into unspeakably cruel slavery by Pirates of Islam.
The Reverend Pritchard is wrong on his knowledge of historical Islam and also how it views non-Muslim women. He is also mistaken about how widespread the condemnation of Grooming Gangs has been in British mosques. Although the written statement condemning child sexual exploitation was widely publicised and well distributed and talked up a lot by the mainstream media, the fact is that 1500 British mosques, including one in Oxford where there was a serious and vicious grooming case, refused to read the statement or permit it to be read.
What we have here is another fluffy happy clappy vicar who refuses to see that there is a problem both with Islamic grooming gangs and other similar issues that need to be dealt with. Instead he appears to have let himself get sucked into the Kumbaya type of interfaith activity that normally ends up by being exploited by Islamic communal interests, with the Christians and the Jews involved becoming mere window dressing.
The storm that the Reverend Pritchard warns about is coming and it is a storm of anger from all those ordinary British people who have despaired that hundreds, possibly thousands of young women had been left at the mercy of violent thugs. They will be angry at the police who didn’t enforce the law regarding these crimes, at the politicians and social workers and council officers who kept quiet for community cohesion reasons and at the weak churchmen who have grown too close to the ideological and theological cess-pit from which the phenomena of Islamic Grooming Gangs has emerged.
I agree with the Vicar on one thing and one thing only and that is that the people of Keighley should be united, where I disagree is with whom people should be united against. People should be righteously united against the criminals themselves, the ideology that created those criminals, those who kept quiet about these criminals, or excused them or who pushed their crimes under the carpet.
Main story from the Bradford Telegraph and Argus