A report into a Greater Manchester Police investigation of child sexual exploitation (“CSE”) has concluded that the force was failing to protect children who were known to be suffering “the most profound abuse”
Numerous suspects were identified and it is thought that up to 52 victims of sex abuse were involved, 48 of whom were in the care of the local council. Despite this only a very small number faced justice and the police operation was “prematurely closed down” according to the report. The report, commissioned by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, was initiated following a BBC documentary which concerned the death in 2003 of a 15 year old child, Victoria Agoglia and the subsequent investigation by Greater Manchester Police.
The investigation was set up to tackle “the sexual exploitation throughout a wide area of a significant number of children in the care system by predominantly Asian men”. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins apologised for the police failures which meant that very serious sexual and physical abuse had not been properly addressed, and commented “I want to say that I am personally disgusted that these children were not cared for and by the awful abuse that they suffered”.
The Greater Manchester Police have self-referred the force to the Independent Office for Police Conduct. The Chief executive of Manchester City Council, Joanne Roney has admitted that the actions of some social workers at the time “fell far below the fight standards we now expect, but insisted that there had been improvements over the last 15 years.
The report follows a plethora of convictions – from Oxford to Rotherham to Rochdale – relating to very similar offences by members of grooming gangs against vulnerable young people.
Switalskis are specialists in this area and represent over 80 survivors of sexual exploitation, abuse and grooming across the country.