An Open Letter to David Cameron about Child Abuse

Subject: An Open Letter to David Cameron about Child Abuse
From: Simon Lessig
Date: 21 Nov 2012

Dear David Cameron,

We now know that thousands of children each year are being sexually exploited by gangs in England "who humiliate, violate and control them", according to an interim report by the Office of the Children's Commissioner. Figures published midway through a two-year inquiry, which was ordered by the government, found 2,409 children and young people were confirmed victims between August 2010 and October 2011.

I am sure you will have been shocked by the prevalence of this, which seems to carry across all nationalities, despite what some sections of the press are saying about Asian men “not abusing their own”. That was probably fuelled by papers that were released two months ago which allegedly showed agencies in Rotherham were aware of allegations of widespread targeted abuse of teenage girls in the town by groups of Asian men.
Perhaps this is the end of innocence for the UK. I certainly didn’t think that organised gangs were grooming and procuring girls as young as 11 to become part of systemised prostitution and abuse. You have already said that the practice is abhorrent, and there can be few who would disagree with that view. But what to do about it?

It is obviously against the law, but the law rarely seems able to come near to tackling the issue. Is it the responsibility of parents? Child-care homes? Local Authorities? Or all of the above?
First off, I don’t think you should go for a knee-jerk reaction of setting up another committee to look into this. There are too many committees looking into too many aspects of sex abuse as it is, and they tend to be expensive and take time to gather evidence and report. Is the internet being used to organise these appalling crimes? I don’t know.

I am waiting to see the detail of the report of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, and hope that they will have some pointers of how we can stamp out the awful life-ruining practices of perverts and criminals. Children are our future and how we treat them is a basic tenant of a civilised society. Clearly parts of our society are not as civilised as we thought, and things like this make me feel ashamed to be a citizen of the UK.
Please Mr Cameron, act swiftly and decisively to eradicate these disgusting crimes. For once, I think the whole of Parliament will be behind you.