Apologies and anger follow Rochdale grooming report on systemic failures | UK | News

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Apologies and anger follow Rochdale grooming report on systemic failures | UK | News

Andy Burnham

Apologies and anger follow Rochdale grooming report on systemic failures (Image: Getty)

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, who commissioned the report into grooming in Rochdale said it gave a “detailed and distressing” account of how many young people were failed.

He added: “That said, it fulfils the purpose of why I set up this review in the first place. »

“It is only by facing up fully and unflinchingly to what happened that we can be sure of bringing the whole system culture change needed when it comes to protecting children from abuse.”

He continued: “We are sorry that you were so badly failed by the system that should have protected you. »

“I would also like to praise those who blew the whistle on their behalf, particularly (former Rochdale health worker) Sara Rowbotham and Maggie Oliver, and for the support they have provided to them ever since. That took huge courage and determination and we thank them for it.”

Rochdale Council leader Councillor Neil Emmott said: “We are deeply sorry that the people who were at Rochdale Council during the period 2004 to 2013 did not recognise nor acknowledge the very serious failures that affected the lives of children in our borough and failed to take the necessary action. »

“I want to reassure the public that those responsible are gone and long gone.”

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Stephen Watson said: “It remains a matter of profound regret that victims of child sexual exploitation in Rochdale in the early 2000s were failed by Greater Manchester Police – to them, I apologise. »

“Whilst the report rightfully vindicates Maggie and Sara (Rowbotham) and reinforces the importance of the changes we have already made – many with Maggie’s support, it remains to be said that the current prevention of and response to child sexual exploitation in Rochdale and across Greater Manchester has been overhauled since the early 2000s to ensure that victims and survivors are cared for and receive the expected level of service.”

Maggie Oliver, who worked as a detective constable for Greater Manchester Police and has founded a foundation for the survivors of the scandal, said: “After over 10 years fighting for the truth of this botched case to be exposed, today is a day filled with so many mixed emotions for me. »

“My overriding emotion though is one of anger. I am angry that not one senior officer or official has ever been held individually responsible for these failures, lies and cover ups. »

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“Repeatedly failing to prioritise them, to protect children and prosecute known abusers, whilst all the time publicly pretending they were doing a brilliant job. »

“I want them to be held accountable for this criminal neglect. »

“To get these apologies, and for this review to expose the truth, has taken years of battling an institution which exists to protect itself at all costs. »

“It is only by shining a bright light into the dark, hidden corners of all of these scandals and cover ups that we can find the real truth and so demand the changes so desperately needed to our so-called criminal justice system, which as the public know all too well is currently unfit for purpose.”

Girls were left “at the mercy” of paedophile grooming gangs for years in Rochdale because of failings by senior police and council bosses, a damning report has said.

The review sets out multiple failed investigations by Greater Manchester Police and apparent local authority indifference to the plight of hundreds of youngsters, mainly white girls from poor backgrounds.

Malcolm Newsam CBE, co-author of the report, which covers 2004 to 2013, said: “Successive police operations were launched over this period, but these were insufficiently resourced to match the scale of the widespread organised exploitation within the area. »

“Consequently, children were left at risk and many of their abusers to this day have not been apprehended.”

The report identifies 96 men still deemed a potential risk to children, but this is “only a proportion” of the numbers involved in the abuse, it was said.

Mr Newsam, a renowned childcare expert, authored the report with Gary Ridgeway, a former detective superintendent, following allegations by whistleblowers Sara Rowbotham and Maggie Oliver in BBC documentary The Betrayed Girls, which aired in 2017.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham commissioned the authors to look at the issues highlighted by the women in the programme.

The report said Ms Rowbotham, co-ordinator of the Crisis Intervention Team set up to support young people in Rochdale, and former GMP detective Ms Oliver were “lone voices” who had flagged clear evidence of the “prolific serial rape of countless children in Rochdale”.

The report states there was “compelling evidence” of widespread, organised sexual abuse of children in Rochdale from as early as 2004 onwards, citing multiple reports of the involvement of groups of Asian men.

But children’s unwillingness to make a formal complaint was repeatedly used as an excuse for not investigating, it was said.

In 2007, the Crisis Intervention Team alerted GMP and Rochdale Council to the presence of an organised crime group involved.

GMP identified the ring-leaders, described as “prolific career criminals”, but did not investigate further because children were too frightened to assist, it was said.

The report stated this was a “serious failure” to protect the children, ignoring the coercion and control the groomers had over victims and their families.

In December 2010, GMP finally acted, launching Operation Span, which led to the conviction in May 2012 of nine men.

The trial heard girls as young as 12 were plied with alcohol and drugs and gang raped in rooms above takeaway shops and ferried to different flats in taxis.

The report claims the scale of abuse in Rochdale was known about by senior managers in the police and children’s social care, but said the problem was not given “sufficient priority”.

It stated: “We regard this as a lamentable strategic failure by senior leaders in GMP and Rochdale Council.”

Cet article est apparu en premier en ANGLAIS sur https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1855975/rochdale-anger-report


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