Writer


Videos were initially thought to be accurate, being circulated online in December by many UofG students

Police Scotland say they are not investigating allegations of child abuse and exploitation in Govanhill on the basis of the accusations having "no substance".

This announcement comes weeks after the release of a series of videos filmed by Alex Cairnie, a Glasgow local, that were circulated on social media supposedly revealing child abuse and sexual exploitation in Govanhill. The videos, released in mid-December, were viewed over 146,000 times and shared widely. 

Excerpts of the videos were circulated by students from the University of Glasgow, some of whom expressed outrage on social media after believing the allegations to be true. 

The accusations of child abuse and exploitation were aimed at Govanhill's Roma community; Scotland has a population of around 5,000 Roma people, the majority of whom live in Govanhill.  Cairnie's comments have since been described as "racist", with Cairnie being called a "bigot" on Twitter. 

However, this followed the initial Twitter uproar as users who, having taken the information at face value, were up in arms at Nicola Sturgeon. Despite Cairnie's lacking evidence, the semi-viral circulation of the videos resulted in many believing that the first minister was blatantly disregarding her own constituency.

In a statement from Police Scotland in the days following the allegations, detective superintendent Donna Duffey said: "We can confirm that at this time we have received no information or intelligence that suggests children in Govanhill are being exploited. Nor are there any ongoing investigations.''

Following up on the claims made last month, local police chief Janie Thomson-Goldie confirmed this week that there is "nothing at all to substantiate all the allegations" made in the series of videos.

Romano Lav, a Roma charity and support organisation active in Glasgow, responded to the allegations made in the video on their Facebook page, stating: ''As a grassroots community organisation working with and supporting Roma communities who stay in Govanhill, everyone at Romano Lav has been deeply concerned by the spurious and unevidenced allegations which have been circulating on various social media platforms recently.'' 

The events follow concerns over Govanhill's "racialised atmosphere" and discrimination towards the Roma community. Reports suggest that around 50% of Govanhill's Roma population have returned to mainland Europe since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, due to fear of being scapegoated for the spread of the virus.


1 reply on “Police say accusations of child abuse in Govanhill are of ‘no substance’”

Angus McKay says:

“SCOTLAND: Roma child sex scandal” – (Sunday Herald, 6 August, 2007.)

“A child prostitution ring which is sexually exploiting immigrant Roma children as young as nine is operating in Glasgow, Scotland. Police have been running undercover surveillance operations in empty homes and unmarked cars in the Govanhill area in the southside of Glasgow for months in the hope of catching those behind the ring and the men paying to have sex with children. Superintendent Mike Dean, who is leading the inquiry from Gorbals police station, confirmed that undercover detectives were hunting those behind the child prostitution ring and called on the public to help the investigation. Jim Miller, from Govanhill, said he stumbled upon a child being forced into prostitution on Allison Street, one of Govanhill’s main thoroughfares. Miller has already given a statement to the police. “Roughly two months ago,” said Miller, “I was out walking my dog at about 10.15 in the morning. The dog ran into a close which was filled with rubbish, bin bags and old bedding. “It was dark, and as I walked through the close I saw a man with his trousers around his ankles having full sex with a young Roma girl who was about nine or ten. The man had made the girl stand on a car battery in order to have sex with her.

“The guy just looked at me,” said Miller. “I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The wee lassie looked totally bewildered.”
Roma man alleged pimp. Miller says he hurriedly left the close in order to get the police and spotted a Roma man waiting outside. At the same time the man he had seen having sex walked out of the close, as did the young girl.

The Roma man, waiting outside, took the little girl by the hand and got into a nearby car, with a third man at the steering wheel, and drove away. Miller said he noticed that the girl walked with a limp. Miller quickly located two police officers, informed them of the events and passed on the car registration number. Miller says that when he returned to the scene there was a used condom and tissues at the site. “I was almost hysterical by this point,” said Miller. “I’d just seen a child being raped in broad daylight.” Police say they have received various reports of child prostitution in the Govanhill area. The ages of the children allegedly involved ranged from nine to 14. Police are concerned that allegations could ramp up racial tensions in an area already under inter-ethnic strain. Many locals in Govanhill from the Pakistani and white communities are openly racist about Roma people.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Similar posts

No related posts found!