London: Gangs that rape and sexually exploit vulnerable young white girls in Britain is a "particular problem" in Asian communities, one of the country`s top prosecutors has said.
After a spate of cases of raping and prostituting victims involving Pakistani-origin men, Crown prosecutor Nazir Afzal said it was impossible not to notice "that the perpetrators were Asian and the victims were not", the Daily Mail reported.
He said "cultural baggage and the status of women among some men in these communities contributes to their disrespect for the rights of women".
Over fears that they would be branded racist, police and social services left the Pakistani group free to rape up to 50 white girls.
Indian-origin Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, is said to be "very concerned by the recent cases of child exploitation".
In the cases, most victims were white, aged between 13 and 16, and from vulnerable backgrounds or the care system. The majority were plied with booze and drugs before being systematically abused.
"Exploitation happens in every community but these cases demonstrate that group grooming is a particular problem in Asian community. I will not turn a blind eye to crimes in any community," Afzal said.
Two Asian men -- Mahfuzur Rahman and Abdul Hannan -- have been convicted of raping or sexually assaulting four young white women in their area after they picked them up and got them drunk.
In a botched prosecution in 2009, the victims gave detailed evidence about being violently raped by Rahman before charges were dropped because evidence was said to lack credibility.
Once the case was abandoned, Rahman targeted a 17-year-old girl from a nearby children`s home, plying her with vodka before sexually assaulting her at his flat, the daily said.
Last month, a sex grooming gang of eight Pakistanis and one Afghan were all jailed, and two set to be deported, after they plied teenagers with alcohol before abusing them in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.