Britain’s deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has called for the police chief from South Yorkshire to resign over a horrific child sex abuse scandal.
An inquiry found that authorities largely ignored more than a decade of abuse in the English town of Rotherham because they were worried about being labelled racist.
Most offenders were of Pakistani heritage.
Nick Clegg, speaking on the UK’s LBC radio station, said: “All we can do, which is what I am doing now, which is what I think everybody is doing – cross parties, by the way – is to say please, do the decent thing, stand aside, because you have to take responsibility, and then let’s try, with the police of course, South Yorkshire police taking the lead, to go after the perpetrators, because all these perpetrators of this abuse are still walking free.”
Vulnerable children were abducted, beaten and raped; often trafficked to other towns where they were typically intimidated with guns, doused with petrol and threatened with being set on fire.
South Yorkshire Police Commissioner Shaun Wright has refused to quit.
He was formerly the Labour minister for children’s services when much of the abuse took place.
He has resigned from the Labour party, though.
More than 1,400 children were victims of the abuse and trafficking but only a handful of men have ever been convicted.
One victim, who spoke anonymously, said: “I think it was because the fact that he was Asian and I don’t think they wanted to start communities colliding together and starting any confrontation between communities.”
This is not the first time revelations of abuse have surfaced in Britain but the report on Rotherham is unique in the sheer number of cases exposed. All in one single town.