LAST night arrests were made following a BNP demo outside Rochdale Town Hall, when some of the throng tried to force their way into a function held by the Mayor, and there was a smaller protest in nearby Heywood about the Asian arrests relating to 'sexual grooming' in the area.
The BNP demonstration was reportedly using the slogan 'against Asian paedophiles'. But they were also calling for the Labour Party to sack Councillor Aftab Hussain and for his removal from the Council following his support of one of the nine local men convicted of child sex exploitation. Councillor Hussain has previously refused to answer questions regarding this support.
Far right-groups organised protests in Greater Manchester over the grooming case and police accused the BNP activists of using diversionary tactics.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister David Cameron said that the Government needs to look carefully at what went wrong with the Rochdale sexual abuse cases. He said: 'It's a truly shocking case and we need to look very carefully at what went wrong.' He added: 'I think we need to look at why information wasn't passed more rapidly from children's homes to police, why action wasn't taken more rapidly.'
Labour MP for Heywood, Jim Dobbin said that racism is not a problem in Heywood and believes the scenes witnessed on the evening of February 23 this year, when around 200 youths took to the town's Bridge Street and targeted Asian businesses, were more out of excitement and curiosity than racism. There is confusion at all levels as to what is going on with some like Jim Dobbin and the police trying to play down the racial aspects of the issue and others, even young Asians saying there is an ethnic element. Clearly this whole matter needs a more thorough sociological investigation at a local level and ought not to be subject to snapshot explanations.
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