Looking at the 18 photos, described as 17 men and ONE woman, I had to search a minute to find that butch one, bottom right corner. And the only Anglo. I wonder if she played a special role in their "supply chain model." Sickening, in any event.
I don't think it's racist to point out that many crime syndicates are formed along ethnic, racial and/or religious lines. From that perspective, do Asians/Muslims represent a higher proportion of all known child-sex trafficking gangs? I'd like to see some research data (in this case, for England) to figure that out. Anyone?
I heard about this for the first time while listening to an episode of Sam Harri's podcast (one of the best podcasters out there, imho). The person he interviewed echoed what raphjd said below, that the perpetrators were largely from Pakistan and the rest immigrants from other muslim majority countries.
My own assumption is that how Muslims (especially men) view women and sex is antithetical to the west. An analogous example is clitorectomies and female circumcisions. Christians don't do this. Caucasians don't do this. The idea
that a woman should be mutilated comes from a certain reading of the Koran and therefore the perpetrators can only be Muslim -- and that is neither racist (Islam is not a race), nor Islamaphobic.
Are there studies? I wonder. There's a lot of resistance in analyzing people by race and religion. To me, it's common sense and a good reason to limit immigration from these countries.