A secret epidemic of unreported sex attacks on young girls is taking place in Brent. Teenage boys, seemingly unaware of the consequences, are carrying out these assaults which their victims often suffer in silence. Reporter TARA BRADY reports on a problem which is becoming part of the fabric of life for many young people in the borough
LAST year a 14-year-old girl from Brent was gang raped by a group of boys in the borough.
Not knowing who to turn to, the helpless teenager wrote an anonymous letter to her MP asking for help.
Despite several police appeals to trace the girl she never came forward. Sadly, this is not an isolated case but a regular occurrence in Brent, according to police.
Officers say that when threatened with jail these perpetrators do not even realise the impact it will have on the rest of their lives.
"They think they'll just do a bit of time inside and then be out," says Detective Inspector Tracey Stevens. "They are not that bothered.
"But it's not like that with sex offences. You won't ever be able to go on holiday. I will be telling their future girlfriends exactly what they have done
in the past and it will stay with them for the rest of their lives."
DI Stevens is responsible for public protection in Brent and has spent the past month talking to teenagers about their attitudes to sex and relationships.
"We know it is happening but no one is telling us. Violence against women and girls has been normalised," she said.
"It's quite common. It's not new. I'm in my 40s and I remember when I was at school three people were raped on the school premises.
"Teenagers shouldn't have to put up with it."
A recent report by the London Serious Youth Violence Board (LSYVB) claims so many young girls have been seriously sexually abused that it is now considered normal behaviour.
In some cases girls as young as 10 are even being groomed for sex.
While knife crimes and street weapons dominate the violent crime agenda, it is clear this type of attack needs more attention.
Now children as young as 11 could be taught about rape and sexual assaults in schools across the borough.
Brent Police has started a pilot scheme going into secondary schools to educate pupils about the realities of sexual crimes and the consequences for offenders.
A pilot of the programme was carried out at Queens Park Community School and officers are now planning to visit other schools.
DI Stevens said: "I learned so much from the kids at Queens Park. Some of the behaviour they thought was acceptable like grabbing a girl's breast or touching a girl's bottom is a sexual offence.
"Some children do not even realise that oral sex is sex and if a girl is forced to perform that then she has been raped."
Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent South, has called for more services for victims of sexual assaults in Brent. She said: "It is shocking that there has been an escalation of this type in the borough. Last week the government launched a new TV campaign which addresses abuse by teenage boys against teenage girls.
"We must all have zero tolerance in this regard. And I would urge anybody, male or female, to seek help in this regard. I would also urge the Lib-Dem council to invest, not with-draw, money in the domestic violent units in Brent."
We managed to find an ethnic breakdown chart of Brent!!! Wow, that's a large chunk of 'White British'.......
ORIGINAL SOURCE OF ARTICLE HERE
AN E-FIT of one of the masked men wanted for questioning after a sexual assault in Cricklewood has been released by police.
Detectives in Brent have sent out the image in the hope of gathering information into the attack on October 24.