The sex-trafficking ring in Rotherham may well be the worst in the West ever, or so one would hope. British officials have now identified at least three hundred suspects in a crime syndicate that raped and trafficked underage British girls for years, while local police ignored signs and clues for years:

At least 300 possible suspects have been identified by investigators probing the Rotherham child sex exploitation scandal.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said most of the potential suspects were Asian men, while the vast majority of victims were young British girls.

The NCA launched a major investigation into the scandal after a damning report by Professor Alex Jay last year, revealed that as many as 1,400 children had been raped, trafficked and groomed by mainly Asian gangs in the South Yorkshire town between 1997 and 2013.

“Asian” in this context refers to South Asia, primarily Pakistanis. That partly explains why the organizers of this trafficking ring successfully evaded detection and intervention for so long — longer than some of its later victims had been alive, in fact. Political correctness kept police from aggressively following up on evidence, and in fact pushed them to punish those who wanted to stop the abuse — including the parents of some victims, as The Telegraph reported last year:

More than 1,400 children were sexually abused over a 16 year period by gangs of paedophiles after police and council bosses turned a blind eye for fear of being labelled racist, a damning report has concluded.

Senior officials were responsible for “blatant” failures that saw victims, some as young as 11, being treated with contempt and categorised as being “out of control” or simply ignored when they asked for help.

In some cases, parents who tried to rescue their children from abusers were themselves arrested. Police officers even dismissed the rape of children by saying that sex had been consensual.

Downing Street on Tuesday night described the failure to halt the abuse in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, as “appalling”.

The Guardian also reports on the new findings this morning, and notes that this inquiry has been going on for more than six months:

The NCA investigation – Operation Stovewood – began in December after the agency was asked to intervene by South Yorkshire police. …

Baldwin said his team of 32 officers had identified more than 3,300 lines of inquiry. He added they had examined 47 boxes of written material, including 1,500 files from the outreach group Risky Business – an organisation that tried to help many of the alleged victims.

The officer confirmed most of the potential suspects were Asian men and most of the victims were white British girls and young women.

There are more than 300 suspects, but thus far only sixteen arrests — and that includes three arrested earlier today, all from Rotherham:

Three people have been arrested in connection with an investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

A 52-year-old man from Rotherham was arrested on suspicion of rape, indecent assault, and prostitution offences, South Yorkshire Police said.

Two women from the town, aged 58 and 40, were held on suspicion of false imprisonment, and aiding, abetting and procuring rape.

The two women are already out on bail, the BBC reports. Presumably the other fourteen are still in custody, but that leaves 286 and counting free to operate or to pressure people into non-cooperation. It’s not just the gang members either, but the police and town council that have tried to keep a lid on the trafficking and the perpetrators. When this story broke last year, the report cited one activist that had tried to gather enough information to break the ring, only to discover that the town council and police were a lot more interested in her lack of sensitivity than the rapes, abductions, and forced prostitution of the town’s young girls:

“I was collecting data on who the perpetrators were, what cars they were using, their grooming methods, their offending methods, and what I was also collecting, was information on professional responses.”

When the researcher began to share her findings with the council, she told them most of the perpetrators being named were from the British Pakistani community.

She said she was taken aback by the response from one official.

“They said you must never refer to that again, you must never refer to Asian men,” she said.

“And [the] other response was to book me on a two-day ethnicity and diversity course to raise my awareness of ethnic issues.”

Some have used Rotherham to argue that multiculturalism is destined for failure. Perhaps, but it’s certain that this strategy of multiculturalism — to treat groups differently under the law — is a disaster. The US, for all its flaws, has dealt with the entry of multiple cultures by generally insisting on assimilation, legally if not culturally. We have the same political-correctness issues, but so far they have not infected our law-enforcement process to anywhere near this degree of lunacy. Americans should learn a lesson from Rotherham and ensure that we don’t allow that to happen here. The British have learned that lesson the hard way, and at least appear on the way to cleaning up the horrid, ghastly ruin it has created.