By | January 15, 2024

Tearful Whistleblower Breaks Silence on Ignored Child Rape Reports in Rochdale

A tearful whistleblower has come forward to express her frustration at the police and local council for ignoring her reports of child rape by grooming gangs in Rochdale. Sara Rowbotham, co-ordinator of the Crisis Intervention Team, broke down at a press conference where a major report vindicated her actions following the grooming scandal in the town.

The damning 173-page review, authored by renowned childcare expert Malcolm Newsam CBE and former detective superintendent Gary Ridgeway, exposes the failings of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the local authority in protecting young girls from paedophile grooming gangs between 2004 and 2013. The report highlights multiple investigations that were insufficiently resourced to combat the widespread exploitation in the area.

The report specifically praises Rowbotham and former detective Maggie Oliver for being “lone voices” in exposing the extent of the abuse. It reveals that hundreds of mainly white girls from poor backgrounds were left “at the mercy” of these gangs due to the negligence of senior police and council bosses.

Rowbotham spoke out at the press conference, stating, “Children were being raped every day. Both the police and Rochdale children services told me and kept telling me, it was nothing to do with them. Everything being done now should have been done then. All it would have taken is the right people actually giving a damn.”

The report identifies 96 men who are still considered a potential risk to children, but this is only a fraction of those involved in the abuse. It reveals “compelling evidence” of widespread, organised sexual abuse of children in Rochdale from as early as 2004, with numerous reports of Asian men being involved.

The report criticizes GMP for not investigating further due to the fear and reluctance of the victims to come forward. Operation Span, launched in 2010, eventually led to the conviction of nine men in 2012, but the report states that this only scratched the surface of the problem.

Chief Constable Stephen Watson of GMP described the report as “shocking, stark, and shameful” and promised a “day of reckoning” for those responsible who have yet to be arrested. He acknowledged the police force’s failure to protect the vulnerable and pledged to make significant changes.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham expressed his disappointment with officials who declined to cooperate with the report and vowed to discuss new powers to compel public servants to participate in such investigations.

In conclusion, the Rochdale grooming scandal has once again highlighted the failure of authorities to protect vulnerable children from sexual abuse. The report’s findings have vindicated the whistleblowers and called for substantial changes in the way police handle child exploitation cases..

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