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Luton: local Sikh community protesting over ‘sex attack police failures’

Luton: local Sikh community protesting over ‘sex attack police failures’ | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it

Hundreds of members of the local Sikh community protesting outside a Luton police station.
Police said they were negotiating with the protesters staging the “sit down” protest outside the Buxton Road police station.
It comes after a young Sikh woman, who has not been identified, was reportedly beaten and sexually assaulted in the Bedfordshire town by a “Muslim man”.

On Wednesday night, Bedfordshire Police confirmed they were “in talks” with the protesters to try and “resolve the situation” amid fears of rising tensions.

Reports suggested that more than 300 locals were involved in the protest because of “lack of action” from police over Monday’s attack.

There were reports that members of the English Defence League were also among the crowd.

Locals reported that the “community … feels the police could do more with regards to the investigation and current situation”.
Concerns were also raised that police were set to release the accused sex attacker amid fears it fuel rising tensions.

Detectives have arrested a man, who has not been identified, in connection with the attack.

On Tuesday night a Bedfordshire police spokesman said: “Police in Luton are currently in talks with members of the Sikh community who are holding a sit down protest outside the Buxton Road police station this evening (Tues May 29).

“Their concerns follow a report that a young woman from their community was sexually assaulted yesterday (Mon May 28).

“The allegation is currently subject of an investigation and all parties involved are being spoken with to establish the facts.”

She added: “One man has been arrested in connection with the allegation and enquiries continue.

“Police are working to resolve the situation this evening with the community leaders.”

Police declined to comment further or disclose the nationality of the arrested man.

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Anger over 'Asian' grooming label

Anger over 'Asian' grooming label | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it
Groups representing Sikh and Hindu communities complain about the term "Asian" being used to describe the men involved in grooming trials.

 

Earlier this month, nine men were jailed for being part of a sex ring in Rochdale which groomed girls for sex.

The groups said the men involved were "almost always of Pakistani origin" and the term "Asian" was inaccurate.

The Ramadan Foundation has said grooming is "a significant problem for the British Pakistani community".

The joint statement was released by the Network of Sikh Organisations UK, The Hindu Forum of Britain, and The Sikh Media Monitoring Group UK.

It says the reluctance of the media and the government to discuss the "disproportionate representation of Muslims in such cases" and the fact victims are "almost always non-Muslim girls" is adding to the cause of far-right groups such as the BNP.

It said blanket use of the word "Asian" was "unfair to other communities of Asian origin".

"We believe that in this case the government itself is sanctioning the use of term Asian as a way of clouding responsibility," the groups say.

Stifled debate
The groups say sex gangs have targeted Hindu and Sikh girls but the cases are rarely reported as they seldom reach the courts.

The statement says: "We believe that political correctness stifles debate and will not facilitate a frank and mature discussion or solutions to get to the root of why the above pattern is emerging in these crimes and how to help find a solution to the problem.

"We will not be able to do that if we mask the identity of those involved based on misguided views of 'protecting a vulnerable community' of the perpetrators and not looking at the vulnerable community of victims."

Last Week Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of The Ramadhan Foundation, said: "There is an over-representation [of Asian men] amongst recent convictions in the crime of on-street grooming [and] there should be no silence in addressing the issue of race as this is central to the actions of these criminals," he said.

He said community elders were "burying their heads" over the issue and police and local councils should not "be frightened" to address the problem, as there was "a strong lesson that you cannot ignore race or be over-sensitive".

On Monday, the chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, said the race of the men involved could not be ignored and it was "fatuous" to deny racial and cultural factors.

But assistant chief constable Steve Heywood, of Greater Manchester Police, said the case was not about race, but about "adults preying on vulnerable young children".

Liverpool Crown Court heard the nine men plied their victims, one as young as 13, with drink and drugs so they could "pass them around" and use them for sex.

The case sparked protests by far-right groups but police insisted the grooming was not "racially motivated".

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