As the Bucks Free Press has reported, seven Pakistani-British men have been charged with a catalogue of the most serious sexual offences. They must now face a fair trial so that justice is done. Everyone remains innocent until proven guilty and nothing must be allowed to prejudice just convictions.
Let us not forget that, somewhere, protected by a court order, there is a real victim going through recovery. There will be other victims, whether or not related to this case, and it is vital that they feel able to come forward so that the proper help can be given and prosecutions pursued.
The vast majority of British people are decent and law abiding. Pakistani British in Wycombe share my disgust at these events, which have no place in any section of our society. Such is their decency that many of them feel ashamed the accused even come from the same community. There is no collective guilt or guilt by association in this country. Fair minded people will not treat the charges as if they are an indictment on that community.
Child sexual exploitation is always and everywhere a disgusting crime. Criminals who commit these acts must be prosecuted and their victims must be supported and helped. Leaders of all sections of society at every level have a responsibility to act to end these cycles of abuse. In Wycombe, we are united against such crimes.
To report anything you suspect or have heard about further child abuse – by the accused or anyone else – contact the Police on the Operation Ribbon hotline: 01296 396396. Also:
- If you are worried about somebody who you think may be a victim of child exploitation, you can call ChildLine on 0800 11 11 or visit their website www.childline.org.uk.
- If you are resident in Thames Valley and you have any information about this type of crime, you can contact Thames Valley Police on the non-emergency number 101.
- If you don’t want to speak to police and don’t want to leave your name, contact the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.
- Victims now aged 16 or over may wish to call Rape Crisis (Wycombe, Chiltern & South Buckinghamshire) on 01494 462222.
You can view updates about the operation or ask questions by following TVP_Wycombe on Twitter.