Former Greater Manchester police officer says lessons have not been learned and calls for change to law to allow senior officers to be prosecuted.
A former Greater Manchester police detective who resigned over the force’s handling of the Rochdale child sexual abuse scandal has claimed that offenders identified in the original investigation are still free to abuse young girls in the town.
Speaking before the airing of a new BBC1 drama, Three Girls – which tells the story of three victims in the 2012 Rochdale sex grooming case – Margaret Oliver said police had still not learned lessons and called for the law to be changed so that senior officers could be prosecuted for negligence.
Oliver, who is played by Lesley Sharp in the three-part series, said she was still in touch with many of the victims. “I’m speaking to kids who are telling me that even to this day they are seeing offenders that they’ve named, walking around Rochdale,” she said. “Somebody saw one in London, another person told me that one has moved around the corner from her.
“That’s why I’m saying things haven’t changed, because those men have been named by those girls [to the police …] and I know that they’re still out there walking around.”
In 2012, nine Asian men from Rochdale and Oldham were found guilty of offences including rape and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child. The court heard that between 2005 and 2008 the group gave the five victims, who were as young as 13, drink and drugs and “passed them around” for sex.
Oliver resigned from the police after 15 years in October 2012. She worked on Operation Span, which investigated reports of grooming in Rochdale, for about seven months, before deciding to leave. Her main concern was that allegations of rape and sexual abuse were not being recorded by police.