Today, Generation Identity came to Glasgow to draw attention to yet another grooming scandal. We wish to highlight what can reasonably be seen as the establishment’s silence in addressing these crimes adequately. As such, we deployed a banner that read: ‘Grooming Gangs in Scotland, The Big Silence’.
Just as is the case with other grooming rings, such as in Rotherham and Telford, the warnings were there. The Labour politician, Sarah Champion, has said of these grooming gangs that the lack of action in Scotland in tackling these crimes must be addressed. Mrs Champion, the founder of the Dare2Care child abuse campaign, stated that:
‘From my experience and talking to people from all over Britain, this crime is going on in every town and every city. The numbers of both suspects and victims is not a surprise to me. What I’m surprised about, however, is that you haven’t had many prosecutions based on that. If they have identified these 27 people, but nothing came of it, why did they get it so wrong? It’s unacceptable.’
With children as young as fourteen targeted by these predatory groups – notably near the ‘four corners’ (the junction of Argyle Street and Union Street) – citizens feel as though their needs and safety are being ignored. A concerned relative of one of these victims has been quoted as saying:
‘This really is just our worst nightmare. It’s this Rochdale and Rotherham-type stuff but it’s happening here in Glasgow in a big way. Nobody seems to be doing anything to stop it.’
This is not a new issue in the city of Glasgow. In 2015, a report on Rotherham-style grooming gangs outlined severe failings in the system to deal with these criminals, as well as its inadequacy at helping and protecting the victims and those vulnerable, with the abuse of children by these grooming gangs being described as a ‘day to day practice’.
With the helplessness of victims and relatives being evident, as well as the many warnings of these ever-present and widespread child-abuse rings, one cannot help but notice that the ‘big silence’ is real and must be addressed.