Pakistani men grooming British girls for sex
Police and social services were silent on the exploitation because of fear that it would be termed a racial issue, The Daily Mail reported.
Researchers from University College London's Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science said the victims were "typically white girls" while "most central offenders are Pakistani".
The offenders were not viewed as paedophiles but had picked the girls because of their "malleability".
The report, however, concluded that "race is a delicate issue" that should be handled sensitively "but not brushed under the carpet".
It said the grooming usually began with older groups of men befriending girls aged 11 to 16 they meet on the street.
The victim was initially treated as a girlfriend and showered with gifts and attention.
But the relationship quickly becomes more "sinister" as the abuser plies the child with drinks and drugs before effectively pimping her out to friends and associates.
The worst cases involve girls being moved around the country to be repeatedly abused.
However, charities working with police to help victims of sexual abuse have publicly denied there was a link between ethnicity and the grooming.