The last decade has witnessed a number of prominent police-led operations relating to child sexual exploitation (CSE) in England. Whilst much of the public discourse related to Operation Yewtree, Operation Fernbridge, and others has focused on the criminal nature of CSE, race has been absent from that discourse; conversely, the public debates relating to grooming cases by men of Pakistani heritage have been marked by the presence of race. By critically evaluating the above cases this article aims to put forward three related arguments. First, it aims to highlight and explain contrasting ways in which CSE is debated vis-á-vis the category of racialised politics. Second, it demonstrates how racialised discourse of CSE, initially considered to be a feature of far-right rhetoric, has taken centre ground. Finally, drawing upon analysis of various reports it aims to question the links between race and CSE to show how racialised discourse of CSE helps undermine its victims.
How to CiteMiah S. (2015) “The Groomers and the Question of Race”, Identity Papers. 1(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/idp.2015.1154