A British police officer called a charity to ask if it were acceptable for an Iraqi man to date a 12-year-old girl because he wanted to be “culturally sensitive” when dealing with a suspected paedophile.
An unnamed police detective called the charity Karma Nirvana, which tackles forced marriage and other forms of ‘honour-based’ abuse, after he had arrested a 26-year-old Iraqi man who said that in his culture, it was acceptable for him to be in a relationship with a child, according to the charity’s call logs seen by The Times.
According to the call log, the policeman said “the accused is stating that it is ‘completely acceptable in my culture to be with a 12-year-old’.”The record added that the officer “‘just wished to know if it is accepted in Iraqi culture to be with a 12-year-old girl’ as he wished to be ‘culturally sensitive’”.
The charity advised that he deal with the Iraqi in the same way they would deal with any other suspected child sex predator.
Karma Nirvana said that this call showed the dangers of authorities filtering serious crimes through a ‘cultural sensitivity’ lens, for fear of being perceived as racist.Jasvinder Sanghera, the charity’s founder, said that “We’ve got a number of professionals who are turning a blind eye. They don’t want to rock the multicultural boat.”
The revelation is one of many to be released by The Times after it published a series of reports detailing authorities “turning a blind eye” to forced and underage marriages by predominately South Asians.
It was revealed this week that government officials had been handing visas to the husbands of girls who have been forcibly married, raped, and impregnated abroad, allowing them to settle in Britain permanently; at times the victims were mentally disabled.
Of the 3,800 reports of forced marriages or children and young people at risk of being forced into marriage, over the past three years to the government’s Home Office, the police have charged less than 80 suspects and the judicial system has convicted suspects in just three cases.