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Amber Rudd: 'Cultural sensitivities' must not block child abuse prevention

2 min read

Amber Rudd has said “political and cultural sensitivities” must not get in the way of preventing and prosecuting cases of child abuse. 

The Home Secretary described the recent revelations of sex crimes against girls and young women in Newcastle as “abhorrent”.

Eighteen people were convicted of sexual abuse, of whom seventeen were British-Asian men.

The case led Sarah Champion, the Shadow Equalities Minister and Rotherham MP, to claim that some authorities were “more afraid to be called a racist than… wrong about calling out child abuse”.

Ms Rudd stressed that child sex criminals were not drawn from any single background, but said political correctness could not get in the way of investigating allegations or bringing perpetrators to justice.

“Those responsible are not restricted to any single ethnic group, religion or community,” the Home Secretary said.

“It is an affront to everyone in our society and I want to be absolutely clear that political and cultural sensitivities must never be allowed to get in the way of preventing and uncovering it.”

She added on the Newcastle prosecutions: “This was an abhorrent case of sexual predators preying on young women and girls and I am pleased that they have been brought to justice.”

Ms Champion yesterday called for a “grown-up” approach to the issue, refuting the suggestion that calling out the background of the perpetrators was “racist”.

“The far-right will attack me for not doing enough, the floppy left will have a go at me for being a racist, but this isn’t racist, this is child protection, and we need to be grown up about this and deal with it,” she told the BBC’s Today programme.

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