Published On: Sun, Jan 21st, 2024

Police officer turned whistleblower on force that ‘failed countless children’ | UK | News


Twelve years after another former detective quit to blow the lid off the Rochdale grooming scandal, the woman quit a Greater Manchester child protection unit.

The detective constable left during a “complex” probe involving five alleged victims that began in 2018. There are no charges as yet.

Leaving has enabled her to now speak about fresh allegations the force, which was last week rapped over its Rochdale failings, is under-resourcing investigations of “serial, serious child abuse”.

The unnamed officer’s claims mirror some of those made by former GMP DC Maggie Oliver after she quit in 2011 over fears it was not taking child sex grooming gang allegations seriously.

Ms Oliver turned whistleblower over failings in investigations into mainly Asian male gangs who abused young white girls throughout the town over several years.

She set up the Maggie Oliver Foundation, which supports survivors of child sex abuse. Ms Oliver said the officer quit over concerns about a probe and contacted her foundation to turn whistleblower.

It is understood the case in question does not involve Asian suspects and the force is treating it as domestic sex abuse, rather than grooming.

Ms Oliver said: “She resigned saying she was unable to get any resources to investigate serial, serious child abuse.

“She had been desperately trying to get a very serious case, where many children were being abused, taken seriously.

“Her complaints have fallen on deaf ears. The resources were not being put into that case.”

On Monday, a 173-page report into GMP’s handling of the Rochdale child trafficking probes from 2004 to 2013 vindicated Ms Oliver. It found many girls had been “left at the mercy” of grooming gangs for years due to failings by police and council bosses.

Commissioned by Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham, it is the latest in a string of independent reports highlighting failings by police who investigated similar grooming gangs in other towns, including Rotherham and Oldham.

But Ms Oliver said: “There are still far too many victims who are not being heard.”

The detective resigned in July, but details emerged this week after she escalated concerns to GMP Chief Constable Stephen Watson.

He has apologised over the Rochdale failings, but believes improvements have been made.

It is not known whether the investigation involving the latest officer to quit was based in Rochdale.

In the case she resigned over, allegations were made in 2018, 2020 and 2021, then a further six crimes were recorded in 2022.

A GMP spokeswoman said the force has “a significant number of officers working in child protection, with large increases in staff”.

She added: “The situation is much different to GMP’s past approach. However, we are not complacent.

“The issues raised are being reviewed by a detective superintendent and the Assistant Chief Constable who holds the Public Protection and Serious Crime portfolio. We can confirm the children in question had been subject to safeguarding arrangements for several years before reports of non-recent abuse were made.

“The children involved were protected and are safe and well. Two suspects remain under investigation.”



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