21st NOV 2017
Authorities are conducting a thorough and detailed investigation into allegations of child sexual exploitation in one of Scotland’s most deprived communities, the Justice Secretary has told MSPs.
Michael Matheson said members of Glasgow’s Govanhill community would be invited by Police Scotland to pass on any information around claims that Roma children are being routinely prostituted by parents and relatives.
But he stressed that officers currently have no evidence to substantiate the allegations which came to light in The Times newspaper on Friday.
“Although there is no evidence or intelligence to substantiate the allegations at the present time, these are being thoroughly investigated by Police Scotland and also by Glasgow City Council.”
Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur called for reassurance for local people bringing forward fresh information.
“We’ve obviously seen atrocious abuse in areas such as Rotherham and in that instance there was evidence that concerns were dismissed or ignored,” he said.
“Will the Cabinet Secretary ensure that there are no barriers that might discourage people from coming forward with reports, particularly in the community itself.”
Authorities in Rotherham, Rochdale and Oxford came under fire for failing to tackle large scale child sexual exploitation predominantly by Asian men.
IT JUST KEEPS GETTING WORSE
THIS ARTICLE IS DATED 4th August 2007
So ScotCops, Sturgeon & ScotGov have KNOWN ALL ABOUT IT & DONE NOTHING FOR 10 YEARS?! WHAT THE F*CK??
A child prostitution ring which is sexually exploiting immigrant Roma children as young as nine is operating in Glasgow, the Sunday Herald can reveal. Police have been running undercover surveillance operations in empty homes and unmarked cars in the Govanhill area in the southside of Glasgow for months in the hope of catching those behind the ring and the men paying to have sex with children.
Our investigation has also uncovered: l That high-grade intelligence about the ring led to the mounting of the covert operations; l An eyewitness who saw at first hand the sexual abuse of Roma children on the streets of Govanhill; l The name of the key suspect thought to be the leader of the child prostitution ring – a Roma man from eastern Slovakia now living in Govanhill.
Last night, Superintendent Mike Dean, who is leading the inquiry from Gorbals police station, confirmed that undercover detectives were hunting those behind the child prostitution ring and called on the public to help the investigation.
Jim Miller, from Govanhill, told the Sunday Herald how he stumbled upon a child being forced into prostitution on Allison Street, one of Govanhill’s main thoroughfares. Miller has already given a statement to the police.
“Roughly two months ago,” said Miller, “I was out walking my dog at about 10.15 in the morning. The dog ran into a close which was filled with rubbish, bin bags and old bedding.
“It was dark, and as I walked through the close I saw a man with his trousers around his ankles having full sex with a young Roma girl who was about nine or ten. The man had made the girl stand on a car battery in order to have sex with her.
“The guy just looked at me,” said Miller. “I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The wee lassie looked totally bewildered.”
Miller says he hurriedly left the close in order to get the police and spotted a Roma man waiting outside. At the same time the man he had seen having sex walked out of the close, as did the young girl. The Roma man, waiting outside, took the little girl by the hand and got into a nearby car, with a third man at the steering wheel, and drove away. Miller said he noticed that the girl walked with a limp.
The Sunday Herald knows the identity of the Roma man believed to have been pimping the child. Police sources confirmed that he was known to the police and a possible suspect in the child prostitution ring.
Miller quickly located two police officers, informed them of the events and passed on the car registration number. Miller says that when he returned to the scene there was a used condom and tissues at the site. “I was almost hysterical by this point,” said Miller. “I’d just seen a child being raped in broad daylight.”
Police say they have received various reports of child prostitution in the Govanhill area. The ages of the children allegedly involved ranged from nine to 14.
Police are concerned that allegations could ramp up racial tensions in an area already under inter-ethnic strain. Many locals in Govanhill from the Pakistani and white communities are openly racist about Roma people.
Miller stressed he was speaking out because a crime had been committed against children, not because he was racist. “What I have a problem with is what I saw happening to that little girl in that close. It made me feel sick.”
Another Govanhill resident, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed he saw an incident in which two boys aged between seven and nine – who appeared to be of Roma origin – were engaged in a sex act together in the backyard of his tenement building.
The man said: “I realise that this could be used as a recruiting sergeant by racists and the BNP, but I have to speak out as we are talking about child protection.” The man feared that the children may have been abused.
A senior police source said: “We’ve had directed and targeted surveillance based on intelligence about the abuse of children involved in prostitution. This intelligence specified particular areas in Govanhill and related to the Roma community. At least six separate incidents involving the alleged abuse of children have been reported to us.”
When asked if the allegations could have been exaggerated or made up by racist members of the community, the senior police source said: “In this case, I have to say that I think it’s a matter of no smoke without fire. There have been many allegations by people in the area about child prostitution.”
Undercover police officers involved in the Govanhill operations have been told that they must blow their own cover the moment it appears that a child is about to be abused. “We’re there to save kids, not wait for a child to be abused up a close before making an arrest,” the senior police source added.
There have so far been three separate periods of undercover surveillance in Govanhill – each lasting a week. The senior police source said: “Such action only takes place on the back of good intelligence, or if numerous sources of intelligence are saying the same thing.”
Superintendent Dean said: “We are aware of allegations about child prostitution in the Govanhill area. Certain police operations have taken place but have so far failed to identify the perpetrators. I would appeal to the public to come forward if they have any information about this matter. The abuse of children cannot be tolerated.
“If we find any evidence of child prostitution we will come down with the full force of Strathclyde Police.”
Dean said the allegations should not be seen as a reflection on the Roma community: “The Roma community would be up in arms itself if the people were aware of these allegations.”
He added: “If anyone is offered a child for the purposes of child prostitution I want to hear from them immediately. If they do have information but do not want to come forward I would challenge them to look at their conscience.”
Police sources say that the Roma man suspected of involvement in the ring was linked to agencies in Slovakia who brought Roma people to Scotland with the promise of jobs and housing.
The police say he makes some of his money in Glasgow as a gang boss by getting employment for Roma men in low-skilled labouring jobs or picking fruit and then taking a cut from everything they earn. He recently bought a new home in Slovakia. There is suspicion that he may also be involved in the drugs trade.
CHILDREN as young as primary school age are being sold for sex on the streets of Glasgow, an investigation has revealed.
Community groups in Govanhill, one of Scotland’s most deprived areas, say Roma children are being sold by parents and relatives – and that the practice has been going on for decades.
The community has come under fire in the past for fly tipping and slum conditions
THEY ARE NOT FLY TIPPING!!
THEY ARE HORRIFICALLY OVERCROWDED!
Sturgeon & her LET’S HAVE OPEN BORDERS & BEG FOR THE WORLD & HIS WIFE TO COME LIVE HERE!!
BUT THEN SHE JUST DUMPS THEM IN GOVANHILL & YOU DON’T SEE HER FOR DUST
The population of Govanhill has MORE THAN DOUBLED IN UNDER A DECADE
But authorities have failed to take action for fear of being branded racist – Govanhill has the highest Roma population in Scotland after a dramatic increase in 2004.
The community has come under fire in the past for fly tipping and slum conditions.
Locals have seen girls and boys propositioning people as they walk through the streets at night, reports The Times.
Cops say child sex exploitation enquiries were carried out ten years ago but residents say the problem has re-emerged.
A police statement in 2007 confirmed that at least six instances of child abuse had been reported.
And two years ago councillors formally flagged the sickening problem – but residents say kids as young as primary school age are still being abused.
Olive Arens, the chief executive of Up-2-Us, a government-funded charity that works with vulnerable teenagers, was told the abuse was an “urban myth” when she flagged concerns.
She said: “The sexual exploitation of Roma children in Govanhill is a longstanding issue. You could see the activity.
“It was children and adults making deals in huddles. It is very clear what was taking place but nothing ever happened to stop it.”
In 2015 Crosshill and Govanhill community council recorded that “an issue had been raised regarding child prostitution within Govanhill” and that children were seen to be “wandering the streets at night” in its minutes.
Group leader of the time Joe Beaver said the police didn’t seem surprised by the report.
Social work also said parents were “using their own kids”.
A spokesman for the first minister said “these are deeply concerning claims” while a Glasgow City Council spokesperson added they were “fully alert to the risk of child sexual exploitation in Glasgow”.
Detective Superintendent Alwyn Bell, of Police Scotland, said: “Glasgow child protection committee and the numerous statutory and voluntary agencies represented have robust, well-established child protection procedures.
“Child sexual exploitation is a constant threat within our communities and an area all partners are alert to. As a partnership, we constantly review our procedures in an attempt to continuously improve our services and learn from good practice elsewhere.”
He said local communities should report “anything that appears suspicious or gives cause for concern”.