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Last Updated: Friday, 27 August, 2004, 05:56 GMT 06:56 UK
Race documentary broadcast on C4
Bradford race riots
Police feared the show would spark riots, as seen in Bradford in 2001
A documentary which police feared could incite racial violence was broadcast by Channel 4 on Thursday.

Edge of the City was originally due to be aired on on 20 May, but was withdrawn hours before transmission.

It featured claims that Asian men in Bradford groomed white girls as young as 11 for sex and drug abuse.

The British National Party (BNP) based an election broadcast on the show, originally due to be screened in the run-up to local and European elections.

'Public interest'

The documentary was initially postponed on the advice of West Yorkshire Police, who said they were concerned it could lead to inter-racial violence in the city.

Peter Dale, Channel 4 head of documentaries, said: "Edge of the City is an important, well-researched and produced documentary film.

"We believe that it is a fascinating insight into the work of the social services in Bradford, crafted in a fair and measured way, and it is in the public interest that this film be shown."

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said there was "never an issue of censorship".

We never had any intention of preventing it from being shown at some stage
West Yorkshire Police spokesman
He added: "West Yorkshire Police had concerns regarding the timing of the broadcast in relation to a number of factors, including the European and local elections.

"We never had any intention of preventing it from being shown at some stage."

The documentary, which followed the work of Bradford Social Services over the course of a year, showed social workers raising fears over the grooming of young white girls by older, predominantly Asian, men in Keighley.

'No evidence'

It is alleged the girls are showered with gifts then given heroin or crack cocaine. Some are allegedly subjected to rape.

The BNP election broadcast featured an actress voicing the words of a mother who claimed her young teenage daughter had been drugged by her Asian boyfriend and gang-raped by his friends.

In a joint statement, West Yorkshire Police and Bradford Council said they had spent the past two years investigating the allegations, but had found "no evidence of systematic exploitation".

In July 2001, Bradford was the scene of some of the worst race riots Britain has seen for 20 years.

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