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.
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