Victoria Agoglia: Operation Augusta Jan 14, 2020 22:14:02 GMT
Post by Admin on Jan 14, 2020 22:14:02 GMT
At least 57 young girls are thought to have been exploited by a paedophile network of around 100 suspected perpetrators based in south Manchester in the 2000s. The gang, mainly comprised of Asian men, hooked their victims on drugs, groomed, and sexually abused them. One girl, aged 15, died after being injected with heroin by a 50-year-old man.
Following a two-year inquiry, commissioned by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, into the historic failings of police and social workers, a report was published today which concluded that vulnerable girls in care were groomed and abused in "plain sight".
The report found multiple failings at the hands of GMP, including how fears over race relations appear to have played a part in senior police thinking when tackling grooming gangs comprised of predominantly Asian men.
It added that officers were aware of "many sensitive community issues" around policing in south Manchester in 2002 and 2003.
Giving evidence to the report panel, a Detective Superintendent was emphatic that any concerns about creating further community tensions did not influence any of his investigative decisions, but the impact "clearly had to be considered" by senior officers in the gold command group.
However the report also quotes an unnamed GMP detective constable, involved in the arrest and jailing of one child sex offender, who was not of Asian heritage.
It quotes him as saying: "What had a massive input was the offending target group were predominantly Asian males and we were told to try and get other ethnicities."
Operation Augusta was set up in 2004 and uncovered the systematic exploitation of looked after children mainly in the care system in the city of Manchester and around the Rochdale area.
Today’s report, report, written by child protection specialist Malcolm Newsam CBE and former senior police officer Gary Ridgway, comes following the death of 15-year-old Victoria Agoglia, who – after years of abuse and days after she was injected with heroin by a 50-year-old man - died in hospital of an overdose in 2003.
The inquiry was launched off the back of allegations made by former GMP detective turned whistleblower, Maggie Oliver.
As a detective, she had investigated countless gangland murders, shootings, kidnappings, rapes and witness protection jobs. She said that she felt “vindicated” by the report.
She said: “Girls were lost to the wind. What has been the cost of all these lives? We will never be able to put a number on how many lives have been lost.
“I want the law changing so there can be retrospective accountability for people whose duty it is to protect the vulnerable. It’s knowing and deliberate neglection of duty…[those who were involved] should be charged with gross misconduct - it’s criminal - where is the accountability?
“I was face-to-face with 15 years of misogyny - ‘stupid woman, she’s become too emotionally involved’ - authorities are very powerful and tried to control the dialogue.