Child abuse inquiry is a ‘cover up’, says detective who exposed grooming scandal

Indomitable Manchester woman Maggie Oliver isn’t impressed with the way the latest strand of The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has concluded. From the Mirror. 

The police officer who exposed one of Britain’s worst grooming scandals has blasted the national child abuse inquiry as a “cover up”.

Maggie Oliver claims it is ignoring victims’ testimony in favour of reports from institutions – and refusing to look at evidence in grooming blackspots like Rotherham, Rochdale and Telford.

The ex-detective constable, who resigned from Greater Manchester Police over its treatment of victims in Rochdale, says two thirds of a statement she gave to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was not used.

Ms Oliver, one of a string of experts slamming the probe, said: “For me, this is another cover-up. It seems the intention is to turn a blind eye to the facts. The inquiry is a platform for those who have failed kids for decades to say everything is fantastic. It’s a shambles.”

The investigation into abuse by organised crime groups is one of 15 strands of the inquiry announced in 2014 – which has cost £100 million so far.

But instead of probing towns like Rotherham, Rochdale and Telford where abuse by paedophile gangs took place, it is focusing on six council areas: St Helens, Tower Hamlets, Swansea, Durham, Bristol and Warwickshire.

Dino Nocivelli, of specialist child abuse law firm Bolt Burdon Kemp, said: “Working class victims have often been ignored by the police and social services – and this is potentially happening again.”

An inquiry spokesman said: “This is a forward-looking investigation into child sexual exploitation by organised networks. Instead of going over previous reviews and inquiries, we are examining whether lessons have been learned from them or if children are still at risk from sexual exploitation in 2020. . . The inquiry published all the parts of Ms Oliver’s statement that were relevant. Victims and survivors are at the heart of this investigation.”

Or as Mrs Oliver tweeted at the weekend “I take great exception to IICSAs assertion that two thirds of my 58 page statement which they deleted were ‘irrelevant’ & my experienced legal team would agree…”

As the title of this latest inquiry which started on 21st September is officially “An inquiry into institutional responses to the sexual exploitation of children by organised networks.” the focus would have been on the actions of organisations like the police and local government not the damage suffered by the abused girls. EXCEPT, the IICSA has completed 7 investigations, and has another 8, including this one, on-going. See their website for the list of topics covered, ie The Anglican Church,The Catholic Church, a specific prominent individual, some specific schools. There is no guarantee that there will be a chance for the horrors suffered by these girls to be aired. It is a suspicion that Mrs Oliver has held, with good reason in my opinion, for some time and which she speaks of in her book Survivors, the story of the Rochdale abuse trial. This is the relevant extract at page 340.

The predecessor to Operation Span in Manchester, which dealt (or failed to properly deal with) the death of 15 years old Victoria Agoglia, was Operation Augusta. That closed down while Mrs Oliver was away from her post from March 2005 dealing with her husband’s final illness and death. She returned to work 7 months later and was shocked. She believes that one of the reasons this investigation was closed was the potential political fallout from the Muslim terrorist bombings of London on 7th July 2005. This is the relevant extract from Survivors, pages 117-119. I can well believe this to be correct. 

Since “Survivors” was published there has been a damning report about this failed operation, followed by the announcment, this August to be precise, that the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) are going to look at the conduct of some very senior officers within the Greater Manchester Police. We live in hope.