I don't believe that. Vulnerable girls being groomed for sex is nothing new. Nor is the grooming of boys. Read your Dickens and you will find plenty of examples of young women coming up to London from the country and being flattered, bullied, tempted, sweet talked, bribed or seduced step by step into prostitution. The deliberate targeting of vulnerable young girls by criminals or by predatory men has been going on since Victorian times.
Given that the problem has been around for long it is clearly not something that has been introduced to this country by immigrants. The problem stems from the fact that too many people regard vulnerable young girls as poor white trash, or poor black trash, and think that they deserve no better.
A poor young adolescent girl, especially one coming out of the care system, is seen as easy meat to recruit into prostitution. Any girl with a low self image can also be an equally easy target. The groomers simply tell the girls they are beautiful, offer them some short term fun, and then apply a mixture of guilt, fear, drugs and alcohol to draw them in.
When some of the girls who this had happened to had the courage to complain the police service as a whole did nothing. Those excellent officers who wanted to prosecute were outnumbered and outranked by those who thought the girls were no better than they should be and it was just a bit of moaning. Even if the police had brought prosecutions, the courts would have failed the girls. The first thing that happens when a young girl appears as a witness in a sexual abuse case is that her character is taken apart. If she has ever lived a chaotic life, or ever had an ill judged sexual liaison then she is going to struggle to get taken seriously after the defence lawyer has finished with her. If the victim is a boy from a care home the attack is likely to be equally vicious.
There is therefore a problem of attitude running right through society. The problem is a view that some girls, and some boys, are trash and it doesn't matter what is done to them. That attitude obviously isn't universal, and it isn't equally held by all. There is a section of the upper class that considers itself so much better than the masses that it is entitled to do whatever it likes to the worthless individuals at the bottom of the pile. I suspect we will hear an awful lot more of that attitude once the names of the individuals in the high society sex and murder ring start to come out.
There is also a section in some of our more traditional religious communities that sees white unbelievers as fair game because they don't believe in the right prophet. To repeat, sex abuse isn't something new brought in by immigrants. However, denying that there is a particular attitude problem in some sections of society is unhelpful to the women in question and ultimately unhelpful to the members of any community where some people possess horribly attitudes towards women that need to be challenged.
This doesn't mean that sex abuse is a problem of one community or of one or two towns. The truth is that it is a prevalent problem. Rotherham is not a particularly unusual town. The only difference between Rotherham and other towns is that its Director of Social Services paid for a proper investigation to be conducted into the problem. This uncovered the scale of the abuse with stark honesty. The result should have been the conducting of a similar enquiry in every town in the country. What happened instead was that the woman who commissioned the review was forced out. People wanted to believe that the problem was down to a few incompetent or venal senior social workers. It wasn't.
We already know there are similar problems in Oxford and Rochdale. As soon as an investigation was undertaken in Sheffield it found problems on an even larger scale than Rotherham. There is a problem across the country about our attitude to the poor and the powerless and our attitude to women.
One of the best ways to reduce this kind of crime is to properly expose it. We need a thorough nationwide investigation into what has taken place and what is still taking place. We also need to change our approach to tackling the entry routes into prostitution. If we focus on trying to stop the supply of vulnerable girls we are highly likely to fail. There is no shortage of the vulnerable and indeed current economic and political policies are increasing the supply. Trying to talk a naive young adolescent girl into believing that people who are offering her drugs, parties, praise and sex are actually her worst enemies is not easy. It needs to be done but it is not enough.
It is much more effective to tackle the problem from a different direction. Make paying for sex a crime. Enforce the existing laws about child sexual activity. Get more female judges. Challenge the police to report on the numbers of prosecutions. Improve the quality of care homes and work on the exit strategies for those who have been in care. Pay enough to care workers to mean that good staff stay in care work long enough so that more of them know what is happening to the girls under their care.
Above all there is one thing that will make a real difference. Take a different attitude towards powerful men and powerless women. We need a society that treats all people as equal. We have one that has allowed a group of MPs and high ranking men from the security services and the military to cover up murder of children during their sexual abuse. It is way past time for a change. The girls who got taken advantage of are not trash. The men who abused them are.
N.B. These are my own personal views on controversial issues.