Report Reveals Failures in Handling of Child Abuse Cases by Greater Manchester Police
An independent review has uncovered shocking failures in the way Greater Manchester Police and Rochdale Council handled cases of child abuse by grooming gangs in the town between 2003 and 2012. The report, described as “damning,” highlighted an “attitude of victim blaming” that resulted in young girls not being protected from sexual abuse.
Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, Kate Green, expressed her distress at the findings, stating that victims were not trusted or believed by the authorities. She emphasized that the way police handle child abuse cases has since been overhauled, but acknowledged that some people in Rochdale still believe that the police approach has not changed.
The report also revealed that 96 men have been identified as potential risks to children in the town. Ms. Green assured the public that these suspects are being actively monitored. Additionally, efforts are underway to bring these perpetrators to justice, with hotels, fast food companies, and taxis in the area all on the lookout for signs of child sexual exploitation.
In response to the report, the Independent Office for Police Conduct has launched its own review to determine if any police officers need to be referred for further scrutiny. Ms. Green stated that allegations of authorities failing to tackle grooming gangs over fears of being labeled racist were not substantiated.
Local authorities across Greater Manchester are taking steps to bring communities together in the aftermath of the review. Ms. Green warned that some may seek to exploit and whip up tensions, but stressed the importance of standing together in condemning these criminal acts.
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police stated that none of the force’s staff are currently under investigation for the issues highlighted in the report. However, if any misconduct or criminality is found, the force will take appropriate action.
The police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, will be examining the report to ensure that all necessary actions are taken and that similar failures are not repeated in the future.
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