"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Monday, 29 June 2009

Surge in School Sex Attacks

The Times has an interesting article and series of statistics which document the huge rise in rapes and other sex attacks in British schools.

Scotland Yard fear 'gang culture' might be to blame - basically politically correct code for saying that this is a phenomenon found largely in areas which enjoy a larger than average amount of diversity and cultural enrichment.

Obviously, to come out and say that might be racist - and it might harm the recruitment campaign to get teachers into inner city schools, some of which will be 100% non-white or non-English-speaking.

Here is the report - just a few days after a study in France found sex crimes were being committed by younger and younger children:

THE spectre of a hidden epidemic of sex crimes inside Britain’s classrooms has emerged after Scotland Yard revealed there have been nearly 900 rapes or serious sex attacks in schools.

The figures - the first of their kind produced - show that 65 victims were raped in secondary and primary schools in London in the past five years. A further 826 were the target of other sexual assaults.

Last year, the number of alleged rapes rose 60% on the previous year to 32. The statistics suggest the vast majority of victims were schoolchildren under the age of 16. As many as one in three were under 11.

The disclosure came as the senior detective in charge of investigating the school sex attacks said that in some cases, police did not press charges against boys accused of having sex with girls under 13 for fear of “criminalising” them.

In response to fears about a violent crimewave in schools, the Met has dispatched 100 extra officers to patrol schools throughout the capital.

It is also examining links between the rise in the number of sex attacks on girls at school and the growth in gang culture.

Disclosing the figures, Commander Mark Simmons, head of the Met’s violent crime directorate, said the force was urgently trying to assess the cause of the problem, which mainly involves attacks on girls.

“Sexual assaults and rapes are always serious offences. When you start talking about young people, and particularly young people in what should be a place of safety, then that becomes even more serious.

“But we need to be wary of making parents hugely concerned by the headline numbers. We are talking about just up to 200 in the last year across the whole of London schools.”

Simmons said that a small minority of the cases involved consensual sex where a technical crime had been committed but police had decided not to prosecute.

He said that in such cases, it was not considered to be in the public interest to take boys of 13 or 14 to court.

“What is the public interest in criminalising a 13-year-old for engaging in consensual behaviour with another person of that age?

“Do we want to criminalise them? Do we want to put them on the sex offenders’ register for ever? Or do we want to work on their education, their understanding of the health issues? Is that more appropriate?

“I can’t think of a case where we have prosecuted for consensual sex between two 13-year-olds. I can’t think how that would be appropriate.”

Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrats home affairs spokesman, said the figures were disturbing. “It is even more alarming because it is happening in schools were people ought to be safe and invulnerable.”

The Met figures, which cover attacks in schools and their environs, show that the number of alleged rapes more than doubled from 15 in 2004 to 32 for the year ending in April.

The number of reported sexual offences grew from 180 in 2004 to 278 last year. Of these, 195 were classified after investigation as sex crimes - up from 169 in 2007.

Until the Met released its figures this weekend, there has only been anecdotal evidence hinting at the scale of the problem. In 1998 the Old Bailey heard evidence from a 10-year-old girl who claimed she had been gang-raped by a group of her classmates.

The youngster said she had been dragged into a school lavatory and raped by her laughing assailants. Her five alleged attackers, all 11 or under, were cleared by the jury.

No comments: