- Disproportionate number of Muslim men are involved in 'street grooming'
- CPS lead on child sex abuse said community must accept the fact
- He urged people to be 'good neighbours' and share suspicions
- Also said number of victims in Asian community are afraid to report crimes
Action: Nazir Afzal urged Muslims in Bradford to be 'good neighbours' and share their suspicions when they saw young girls with much older men
Muslims must accept that Asian and Pakistani men are grooming vulnerable girls and must take more action to stop it, a senior prosecutor has said.
Nazir Afzal said that the community has to acknowledge that a disproportionate number of Muslim men are involved in the grooming of young girls off the street.
He told a meeting of Muslims in Bradford last week that they should be doing more to stop the problem and warned them against assuming that 'someone else is dealing with it'.
He said: 'We do have an issue with people of our ethnicity and we have to deal with it. The solution comes from within.'
He also urged people to be 'good neighbours' and share their suspicions when they saw young girls with much older men.
Mr Afzal, head of the Crown Prosecution Service in the North West and the national leader on sexual exploitation of children, said that it was their responsibility to report incidents to the police rather than 'walk by' the problem, according to the Guardian.
His view was echoed by Superintendent Vince Firth, from West Yorkshire police, who urged Muslims to take responsibility for protecting Bradford's children.
He said: 'There are [young girls] walking about with older men and it just doesn't look right. We want a culture where people are picking up the phone to the police.'
He added that under-reporting of child sexual exploitation was a major problem in the Asian community in the city, which makes up 25 per cent of the total population.
He said that girls who were victims were often too scared to report it as they feared being shamed and urged the community to support victims and their families rather than stigmitising them.
Mr Afzal added that as well as blaming the women, a number of people in the Muslim community would also rather blame 'evil spirits' for their crimes.
He cited the case of Caneze Riaz, who murdered his wife and four daughters when he torched the family home as they slept in their beds at their Lancashire home in 2006.
Relatives and friends of the family had told police that a bitter rift had developed between conservative Mr Riaz and his wife over her determination to bring up their children with Western lifestyles.
Yet Mr Afzal said that there were some in the community who still believe that he didn't do it - blaming instead the house, which they insist was haunted.
In August a shocking report revealed that the sexual abuse of about 1,400 children at the hands of Asian men went unreported for 16 years because staff feared they would be seen as racist.
Children as young as 11 were trafficked, beaten, and raped by large numbers of men between 1997 and 2013 in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, the council commissioned review into child protection revealed.
The report, written by Professor Alexis Jay, also accused Muslim leaders in the town of 'ignoring a politically inconvenient truth' by insisting there was not a deep-rooted problem.