UK: Sexual grooming of children far worse than thought, says minister
Via the Guardian:
The sexual grooming of children in the UK is a much bigger problem than has previously been recognised, the government has said.
The children's minister, Tim Loughton, announced that an action plan will be launched to tackle child sexual exploitation, which experts say involves British children as young as 10 being trafficked for sex around the UK.
The government would not shy away from looking at whether certain ethnic groups in specific areas were more likely to be involved in sexual exploitation, he said. "If there has been a reluctance to [look at the problem] because of a fear of opening a can of worms, then we have to expose that. I don't care who the perpetrators are, they have to be exposed and brought to justice."
But he stressed that sexual exploitation was not confined to one ethnic group. "Operation Retriever [in Derby] centred on one specific ethnic group but in other areas there are different abusers of different ethnic groups. They can be white, middle-class abusers online - exploitation is not a BME [black and minority ethnic] monopoly," he said.