Bureaucracies often descend into measuring inputs rather than outcomes because inputs are so much more easily measured. It was no different when confronting the problem of raped girls than with any other issue:
The goal was multitudinousness itself: Where two or three agencies are gathered together in the name of tackling CSE [Childhood Sexual Exploitation], there must be something productive going on. In business, after a point, the teamwork approach will be measured against a goal that can be enumerated: Sales must grow or production time shrink. If the goal is not attained, the collaborative effort withers away. But no social agency, policeman, town councillor, or inspector ever mentioned a numerical goal, such as reducing the number of victims or increasing the number of arrests—with the exception of adequate budgeting for staff.
In reality, the number of victims grew every year, and the number of arrests was vanishingly low. But the inspectors continued to praise Rotherham’s “commitment to safeguarding young people”; continued to measure commitment by the quality of collaborativeness itself. In 2003, the SSI praised “examples of innovation, moves towards integrated services and new preventive strategies.” In 2010, Ofsted was delighted by “effective, creative multi-agency work” to prevent sexual exploitation, and even more so by “cross-agency training.” Two years later, Ofsted smiled upon “good collaborative work between the local authority and the Police resulting in a targeted approach.”
Barnardo’s experts admired the joint “commitment to addressing CSE” on the part of the town council and social services agencies, a commitment expressed vividly in “their plans to widen the inter-agency partnership.” Barnardo’s left Children’s Services with this praise ringing in its ears, and with an advanced model for calculating risk of CSE, which it had sold to management. Social workers dealing with girls in the field found the Barnardo’s model consistently understated the degree to which their real-life cases were exposed to rape and abduction, but were made to use it, even though it undermined their recommendations.
The Inspectorate of Constabulary praised the collaborative disposition and, of course, the commitment of the South Yorkshire Police’s CSE work. Not only was everyone “conscientious, enthusiastic, and focused,” but “the force had improved its engagement with other agencies working in this field and had co-operated with them in developing strategies.” The strategies thus developed did not require constables to arrest specific sex traffickers who had been pointed out to them by material witnesses: According to the Jay report, they systematically refused to do so, using a variety of excuses that may have been developed on an interagency basis.
Read the whole thing.
The authorities may not have arrested the rapists or protected the girls, but all the authorities worked together commendably.
And their computer model of their coordinated activities (inputs) said that they were reducing the problem of CSE. Which took precedence against actual reports from the real world where girls continued to be serially raped by men whose granted victim status made inconvenient to arrest.
The Left likes to say it takes a village to raise a child. In practice, it takes a village to rape one--or more precisely, hundreds or thousands over more than a decade.
There are different villages, to be sure (tip to Instapundit), but none so wrapped in victimhood as the Rotherham rapists.
Pity the girls weren't targeted by a UKIP gang. Then the problem would have been ended in 1997.
UPDATE: Thanks to Pseudo-Polymath for the link.