Alyas Karmani, a Respect councillor in Bradford and activist for children’s charity STREET UK, told MPs that some senior figures in Yorkshire appear to be handling the issue “with kid gloves”.
Child sex grooming has become a huge issue in the region following a series of high profile cases in Rotherham and West Yorkshire.
Much of the attention has fallen on predatory gangs of Asian men and their attitude towards white girls – but Mr Karmani warned the problem is actually much wider.
“Most acts of sexual violence have a ‘hate crime’ component to them, where the abuser dehumanises the victim,” he told the Commons home affairs committee. “Why do we make a particular issue of it when it comes to Asian males, and not all males?
“It’s important to recognise that this is a generic thing.”
Nonetheless, Mr Karmani said there is an issue in some Asian communities and called on authorities to avoid hiding behind a “politically-correct culture” when investigating.
“I find that, certainly in West Yorkshire, key elected members from certain communities are part of that sense of denial,” he said. “They want to handle it with kid gloves.”