Leeds School of Social Sciences

New Home Office Report Challenges Racial Stereotypes Connected with Grooming Gangs

The research of Dr Waqas Tufail from Leeds School of Social Sciences has contributed to a new Home Office Report that dispels key racial stereotypes associated with “grooming gangs”.

 Dr Tufail, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, undertook the research for the report over two-years alongside Dr Ella Cockbain from University College London.  The report titled Group based child sexual exploitation characteristics of offending has gathered evidence relating to offenders and their characteristics. 

Writing in The Guardian, Dr Tufail and Dr Cockbain argue that in recent times there has been a widely held belief that only Muslim men of Pakistani heritage are offenders in “grooming gangs”. This was an image perpetuated by the far-right, however it has since advanced into mainstream consciousness with seemingly little resistance.

The study highlights that there are no grounds to assume Muslim or Pakistani-heritage men are disproportionately responsible for these crimes. It highlights that the majority of group-based offenders are white. The findings do not dismiss the horrific nature of crimes that took place in Rochdale, Oxford, and Telford. They do however address the racial stereotyping that arose from them. Dr Tufail and Dr Cockbain assert that child sexual abuse is endemic to all communities. The findings of their research will influence policy and help local authorities and communities in tackling sexual abuse. 

Dr Waqas Tufail

Senior Lecturer / Leeds School Of Social Sciences

Dr Waqas Tufail is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Social Sciences. His teaching and research interests include policing, racism and anti-racism, Islamophobia/anti-Muslim racism and the racialisation and criminalisation of minority groups.

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