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The Hunt for Britain's Sex Gangs
By True Vision
It was the police investigation that stunned Britain. Young men of Pakistani heritage grooming young girls with the intention of abusing them, gang raping them and then trading them with other groups of men. How could it happen in modern Britain?
In part, the answer lies in a perverse form of reverse racism, where authorities that knew potential crimes were being committed would not acknowledge what was happening, fearful it would fuel a right-wing backlash and racial violence.
Fortunately, two people would not be put off. After working for more than a decade on what would become The Hunt for Britain's Sex Gangs, director/writer Anna Hall and reporter Tazeen Ahmad now tell the story of these shocking crimes.
In 2010, Telford police allowed them to start filming 'Operation Chalice'. It would become one of the biggest child sex abuse cases in Britain, involving over 100 victims, and around 200 suspected perpetrators.
The Hunt for Britain's Sex Gangs follows - with unprecedented access - a live police investigation, showing just how difficult it is to secure justice for victims of sexual abuse, some as young as 11.
Gaining the trust of victims - who, as a result of the grooming process, don't see themselves as victims - is key to the success of the case. But it takes months for the police to win their trust and keep them on board as they prepare for the harrowing process of going to court.
As the police work with the young girls, they begin to understand a vicious cycle of grooming. It starts with flattery and friendship, then moves on to a more overtly sexual relationship and finally becomes exploitative, as the groomers pass the girls around their networks of friends and family for sex. Ultimately, seven men are convicted and jailed, bringing to an end a gruelling three year police investigation.
'The Hunt for Britain's Sex Gangs', produced by True Vision and presented by Kerry O'Brien, goes to air on Monday 3rd June at 8.30pm on ABC1. It is repeated on Tuesday 4th June at 11.35pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 at 8.00pm on Saturday or ABC iview.
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