TV doc to look into ‘betrayal’ of grooming case scandal
ANEW BBC documentary will examine how the victims of the Rochdale grooming scandal were ‘betrayed’ by the authorities.
Producers say it will include ‘the harrowing testimony of the victims whose stories have not been told before’.
Betrayed Girls follows the 2012 conviction of nine men for the horrific rape and abuse of five vulnerable young girls in Rochdale and Heywood.
It comes after the acclaimed BBC drama Three Girls, starring Maxine Peake, which aired last month.
A BBC spokesman said: “In May 2012, the revelation that nine men were guilty of the grooming, rape and sex trafficking of teenage white girls shocked the nation.
“But the police and social services had known about the abusers for years, and the abuse went far beyond Rochdale. From Rotherham to Keighley, it was happening across cities and towns in the north and beyond.
“The film reveals how it wasn’t just the professionals whose job it was to protect the girls who ignored their plight.
“This was a story where many from the police, social services, politics and the Muslim community also chose to look the other way.”
Betrayed Girls will also include interviews with whistleblower Sara Rowbotham, who at the time was the manager of the Rochdale Crisis Intervention Team, and former Detective Constable Maggie Oliver, who resigned from GMP claiming that the force had failed the victims.
Nazir Afzal, former chief crown prosecutor for the North West, who was instrumental in bringing the case to court, has also been interviewed for the documentary.
The film’s director Henry Singer made Baby P: The Untold Story, about 17-month-old Peter Connelly, killed at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and his brother in Haringey, north London, in 2007.
During the trial at Liverpool Crown Court jurors heard how girls as young as 14 were plied with vodka, threatened with violence and passed around men for sex, during abuse which had been ignored by the authorities for years.
Nine members of the grooming ring, led by Shabir Ahmed, known as ‘Daddy’ to his victims, were eventually sentenced to jail terms ranging from four to 19 years.
Following the case a string of damning inquiries found the girls had been let down time and time again by police, social workers and others.
The Betrayed Girls will be shown on the BBC next month.
Whistleblower Sara Rowbotham, former Detective Constable Maggie Oliver and former chief crown prosecutor for the north west Nazir Afzal were interviewed for the BBC documentary