The scandal over the sexual abuse of children by gangs of predominately Asian men continues to make headlines. The role of the police and local politicians (the majority Labour Party members) in allowing this abuse to continue unhindered for over a decade, should have led to mass sackings and prosecutions in the courts.
Where are the celebrity lawyers clamouring to represent these poor, abused children, many of whom came from broken homes? Or the talk of compensation for the victims? If the girls had come from nice middle-class homes with parents in white-collar jobs, would the silence have been so deafening?
The third report, titled “The review into Operation Span and the investigation of non-recent child sexual exploitation in Rochdale,” which was published on Monday 15 January, concluded that both agencies were guilty of a grave failure in their duty to protect the children who were being groomed and sexually exploited in Rochdale between 2004 and 2013.
According to the report, 48 girls and up to 260 prospective victims were not adequately protected from sexual exploitation by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and Rochdale Council between 2004 and 2012. Additionally, it also reported that up to 96 adults were still considered to be a potential threat to children in 2013.
The report is divided into four sections and is being conducted by child protection expert Malcolm Newsam CBE and former high-ranking police officer Gary Ridgway.
The report details the failure to address the growing menace of child sexual exploitation during the period from 2004 to 2007. It highlights the numerous unsuccessful police investigations and the lack of action from Rochdale Borough Council in response to the pleas of several girls, mainly White and from a working-class background, who all identified themselves as potential victims of abuse perpetrated by men of Asian descent.
The report’s authors also said they were “struck by the lack of intervention by both the police and children’s social care when it was known that older adult males were having sexual relations with children who were said to be ‘consenting’.” The fear of being branded a ‘racist’, and stirring up community tensions, allowed the abuse to continue.
Child sexual exploitation continued to be “treated as a low priority and under-resourced” by GMP, the report said. Following the report, GMP Chief Constable Stephen Watson apologised for the “serious failings” highlighted in the Rochdale CSE report.
Sir Peter Fahy led GMP as its chief constable from 2008 until 2015. After retiring, he was appointed an honorary professor of criminal justice at the University of Manchester and knighted in the 2012 Birthday Honours “for services to policing.”
Top Image: The Operation Span Report.
Lower Image: Extract from the Report
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