THE Pakistani community must urgently tackle the problem of gangs grooming and abusing white girls, the justice minister has said.

Damian Green said it was time to dismiss any political correctness around the issue and that it was up to Pakistani community leaders to make it “absolutely clear” that such behaviour was “100 per cent unacceptable”.

Speaking days after the conviction of seven Oxford men for crimes involving grooming, raping and prostituting children, Mr Green said: “It’s not sadly the first example we have had of organised serious exploitation and abuse involving Pakistani heritage men grooming and abusing white girls.

“I hope that what happens is that any last vestiges of political correctness that say ‘there are some cultural issues to address here’ disappear, because this is criminality, pure and simple.”

He said the Government taskforce set up in the wake of Operation Bullfinch would “stretch across the criminal justice spectrum” in an effort to help those at risk.

It will also look at how social media can be used to groom and abuse the vulnerable.

Mr Green added: “All children deserve every protection we can give them and vulnerable children without the strong family background most of us take for granted have an even greater need.”