In a shocking revelation, a detective in the United Kingdom has claimed that an Asian grooming gang was allowed to run amok and assault young girls in south Manchester because police officers were ordered to “find other ethnicities” to investigate.
According to a report authorised by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham to investigate the historic failings of police and social workers, a paedophile network of about 100 suspected assaulters is accused of exploiting 57 young girls in south Manchester in the 2000s. The report states that the gang primarily consisted of Asian men, who hooked their victims on drugs, primed, and sexually abused them. One girl, aged 15, died after being injected with heroin by a 50-year-old man. The report, which was published after a two-year enquiry, stated that vulnerable girls in care were groomed and abused in “plain sight”.
The report is a scathing indictment of the Greater Manchester Police(GMP) which is believed to have been biased in tackling grooming gangs comprised of predominantly Asian Muslim men. Stating that “fears over race relations” ran high, it stated that the GMP and city council shelved an investigation because officers were wary of “many sensitive community issues” around enforcing the law in south Manchester in 2002 and 2003.
The Detective Superintendent, while submitting his findings to the report panel, claimed that though his investigative decisions were not influenced by the concerns about inciting community tensions, the senior officers in the gold command group were of the opinion that the impact had to be “clearly considered”.
The report quotes an unidentified GMP detective constable, who was involved in the arrest and jailing of one non-Asian child sex offender, saying that there were orders from up above to try and get other offenders from other ethnicities while the offending target group were predominantly Asian males.
In 2004, Operation Augusta was launched to unwrap the institutionalised oppression of looked after children, chiefly in the care system in the city of Manchester and around the Rochdale area.
However, today’s report comes years after the death of a 15-year old Victoria Agoglia, who died she was injected with heroin by a 50-year-old man. She had died in hospital due to drug overdose in 2003. Following her mother’s death, Victoria was shifted to child care. The report now says that her carers were cognizant of her being subjected to “multiple threats, sexual assaults and serious sexual exploitation” and were informed that she was being “injected with heroin by an older Asian man but no action was taken by the police or social care”. She subsequently died “having been administered an overdose”, but the men who exploited her “have never been brought to justice”, the report said. Following the publication of the report, grandmother, Joan Agoglia, said the publication of the report made her feel “wonderful as I’ve been fighting for this all my life, it seems”.
The inquiry was commissioned after the former GMP detective turned whistleblower, Maggie Oliver levelled serious allegations of prejudice and gross misconduct of the senior GMP officials while dealing with child offender groups.
As an accomplished detective, Oliver had been in a plethora of investigations, ranging from gangland murders, shootings, kidnappings, to rapes and witness protection jobs. After the report was out, she claimed that she felt “vindicated” by the findings of the report. “The girls have vanished in thin air. We would never be able to ascertain the exact number of lives lost,” she said.
Demanding retrospective accountability for those who were responsible for the deaths of girls, Oliver said that the law should change and those guilty of gross misconduct and dereliction of duty should be charged.
Oliver also accused her superior authorities of misogyny, saying “I was subjected with 15 years of misogyny. I was constantly insulted with remarks such as- ‘stupid woman, she’s become too emotionally involved’, for seeking action against the child offender groups”.
The report has been passed on to the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct to carry out an independent evaluation of the findings and to decide if there are any conduct matters that should be probed.
The head of Specialist Crime for Greater Manchester Police, Assistant Chief Constable Mobs Hussain admitted of falling short of what should have been done to support the vulnerable child victims of sexual exploitation.
“Children expect those who are invested with the responsibility of taking their care, keep them safe and away from harm’s way I want to apologise to all those vulnerable children who were let down by us. Most of the children had to endure unspeakable horrors. Operation Augusta and the work carried out by the investigation team deserves to be commended, we agree the overall operation was not to the standard rightfully expected from victims,” Hussain said.