Manchester, News

South Manchester paedophile gang targeted children “in plain sight”

0 464

A damning report has revealed the extent to which a grooming gang in South Manchester were able to commit their crimes without repercussions.

The Manchester Evening News reported that children were raped and abused by up to 100 members of the gang sixteen years ago, and police and social workers didn’t intervene, despite knowing it was going on.

It is believed that up to 57 young girls have fallen victim to the gang. Some of the suspects are thought to have been involved in the case of 15-year-old Victoria Agoglia, who died in 2003 after being raped and injected with heroin by a 50-year-old man. 

The report, written by Malcolm Newsam, a renowned child care expert, and Gary Ridgeway, a former detective superintendent with Cambridgeshire Police, noted that what had happened in South Manchester was “a depressingly familiar picture and has been seen in many other towns and cities across the country.”

The 145-page report found that many girls had told carers and police officers about the sexual assaults, giving names and addresses. But apparently, no action was taken. 

Senior officers at Greater Manchester Police chose to hold back resources for the investigation.

The report recounts a story that will sound familiar to those who are aware of the grooming gangs from Rochdale, Rotherham and Telford – young teenage girls being lured in by alcohol and drugs by a group of ‘older Asian men’, and suffering physical abuse and rape. Suspects are accused of bringing alcohol and drugs to council-run children’s home in Rusholme, to the knowledge of the staff.

An investigation had been launched at the time – Operation Augusta – but was dropped due to ‘resource issues’ in 2005. Eight of the men regarded as suspects went on to rape more girls.

Detective Constable Margaret Oliver, who went on compassionate leave just before Operation Augusta was dropped, has been talking about the police’s shortcomings with grooming gangs for years.

Speaking of the report, Oliver said, “I feel completely vindicated. It’s a very momentous day for me, both personally and actually publicly – because I’ve always known I’ve spoken the truth.”

At the time of the investigation, Oliver had been crucial in gaining the trust of the young victims and gathering an extensive dossier of evidence. In light of this report, she says that she’s “grateful to Malcolm and Gary for sticking with this, for persevering to get at the truth.”

Press conferences are being held today in response to the report’s findings.

About the author / 

Ben Thompson

Modern History student. Mostly writes about politics and social issues.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News Stories:

  • Bakar @ Albert Hall live review – Bakar dares to dream big 

    Featured image and gallery: Georgina Hurdsfield The gloomy refrain “I hate the facts, I hate the situation” echoes affirmatively among the gothic furnishings of the Albert Hall. The fact is that 5000 fans have converged under the ornate roof; the situation being the first of Bakar’s two sold-out shows in Manchester. The aforementioned lyrics couldn’t…

  • Of Mice & Men @ Rebellion review – metalcore masters tear it up

    Featured image and gallery: Ameena Ceesay So-Cal band Of Mice & Men have spent the better part of a decade rising through the metalcore ranks. A couple months from the release of their 8th studio album, Tether, and as part of their UK and Europ…well, Germany tour, they grace the Rebellion stage and proceed to…

  • Anne Marie @ AO Arena Manchester review – A perfect and unexpected theatrical experience

    Featured Image and gallery: Ben Redshaw From West End childhood star and karate world champion to BRIT Award-winning popstar, Anne-Marie arrives at the AO Arena on the back of her third studio album, Unhealthy.  Leah Kate, an American singer best known for her post-heartbreak songs, is the opener. Kate tells the story of sliding into…

  • Manchester creatives celebrate identity, community and queerness at the 2023 Bound Art Book Fair at Whitworth Art Gallery

    Featured image and photography: Anna Klekot The Bound Art Book Fair returned to The Whitworth art gallery this month, featuring over 65 exhibitors showcasing a range of creative work including zines, books and posters. The gallery was filled with independent publishers and artists showcasing creative projects, and featured free artist talks open to the public,…