Thousands of children are raped across towns and villages in Britain every year, a national enquiry into child sex abuse reported on Wednesday, prompting a senior minister to accuse it of glossing over the alleged role played by men of Pakistani origin.
The shocking report from the office of the Children's Commission found that 2,409 children were victims of sex crimes by gangs or groups of men in a 14-month period from 2010 to 2011. Another 16,500 young people were under high risk of sexual exploitation.
Britain's education minister Michael Gove said the enquiry had failed to address the problem of Pakistani men grooming underage white girls for sex, saying it should ask "tough questions about cultural background."
But the report's author, deputy children's commissioner Sue Berelowitz, said the victims "come from all ethnic groups, as do the perpetrators."
In May, a British court jailed nine Pakistani-origin men accused of grooming white girls as young as 13 in Rochdale, supplying them with drink and drugs and passing them around for sex.