Ex-de­tec­tive’s anger over ‘slap on wrist’


AFORMER de­tec­tive turned whistle­blower has told of her out­rage that all but two of Rochdale’s sex groom­ing gang have been freed less then five years into their jail sen­tences.

It has been re­vealed seven of the gang of nine have now been re­leased, some on li­cence and oth­ers hav­ing com­pleted sen­tences im­posed in 2012.

Mag­gie Oliver in­sisted the seven who have been re­leased should have been charged with rape - rather sex­ual ac­tiv­ity with a child or traf­fick­ing of­fences - which at­tracts a longer sen­tence. She worked on the oper­a­tion but later re­signed in dis­gust at the way vic­tims were treated.

The for­mer of­fi­cer, who was the con­sul­tant for BBC’s Three Girls which drama­tised the abuse and how the vic­tims were let down by the author­i­ties, re­vealed her anger in a live Q&A with Guardian read­ers on Face­book.

Mag­gie said: “For me it’s out­ra­geous that men guilty of abus­ing gen­er­a­tions of chil­dren over many years have had a slap on the wrist and they are out now car­ry­ing on their daily lives as though noth­ing has hap­pened. The chil­dren that they abused will never get over what’s hap­pened.”

She said she was still in touch with the vic­tims who were ‘proud’ to have helped in mak­ing the drama but re­mained ‘dis­turbed’ by what hap­pened to them.

Mag­gie said: “They all feel proud that they are part of such a pub­lic mes­sage in ex­pos­ing ne­glect within the sys­tem and the fail­ures of the pro­tec­tive ser­vices.

“They are very proud but they are still very dis­turbed by what hap­pened to them.

“I don’t think they will ever re­cover.

“To be sex­u­ally abused as a child is one thing and you would never re­ally re­cover from that but in many ways far worse is for those agen­cies that are meant to pro­tect you to turn around and fail you know­ingly. That is far worse. And the dam­age that the causes is pos­si­bly some­thing they will never get over.”

Her friends have now launched a pe­ti­tion to change the law to make se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers ac­count­able. She said she wanted po­lice bosses to be ‘per­son­ally li­able’ for their de­ci­sions.

Mag­gie said she had been heart­ened by the pub­lic re­ac­tion to Three Girls and her con­tin­u­ing cam­paign.

She said: “My faith in peo­ple has been re­stored. This has re­stored my faith in the de­cency of or­di­nary peo­ple. But why is it that or­di­nary peo­ple are so out­raged by what hap­pened? Those very peo­ple who were in po­si­tions to make sure this doesn’t hap­pen failed to see that and al­lowed it con­tinue over I don’t know how many years.”

To see the pe­ti­tion web­site go to:

For­mer De­tec­tive Mag­gie Oliver

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