Ex sex abuse case of­fi­cer in CBB house

Rochdale Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

DE­TEC­TIVE Con­sta­ble Mag­gie Oliver re­signed from GMP claim­ing that the force had failed the vic­tims of the Rochdale sex groom­ing scan­dal.

She had been cen­tral to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and per­suaded vul­ner­a­ble and re­luc­tant girls to give ev­i­dence against the pae­dophiles who had sex­u­ally abused them for years.

But one of the vic­tims she con­vinced to speak ended up be­ing por­trayed as a mem­ber of the groom­ing gang in the sub­se­quent trial.

Mag­gie felt be­trayed, ashamed and re­signed. She be­came a vo­cal critic of how po­lice had han­dled the case.

She re­signed in dis­gust at the treat­ment of one the girls who was orig­i­nally por­trayed as a ‘madam’ who had in­tro­duced the men to a string of vul­ner­a­ble girls for a finder’s fee of £10.

The girl was hav­ing sex with some of the men her­self - some­times one af­ter the other.

Al­though she was cen­tral to the plot and was in­ter­viewed, she was not in the dock and never ap­peared as a wit­ness.

Be­fore the case started, the Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice de­cided she had been a vic­tim be­fore be­com­ing a per­pe­tra­tor and ruled it was not in the pub­lic in­ter­est to pros­e­cute her.

How­ever, the de­ci­sion to name her on the in­dict­ment in­fu­ri­ated De­tec­tive Con­sta­ble Mag­gie Oliver, a moth­erof-four from south Manch­ester.

Mag­gie had been part of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a pre­vi­ous sex groom­ing scan­dal in 2004 which was al­most iden­ti­cal to the one in Rochdale.

It is said to have iden­ti­fied 26 teenage girls in Hulme and Rusholme thought to have had un­der­age sex and a list of 208 po­ten­tial sus­pects.

She worked with the BBC to drama­tise her ex­pe­ri­ence in Three Girls, in which Les­ley Sharp plays her char­ac­ter. This is Mag­gie’s story: “When I joined Greater Manch­ester Po­lice in 1996 I swore an oath like ev­ery other bobby who joins the job. I promised I would act with hon­esty and in­tegrity, that I would pro­tect the vul­ner­a­ble and I would do my best to put away the bad guys. I was good at my job be­cause I’d had a life be­fore the cops. I knew how to speak to vul­ner­a­ble kids.

“A lot of po­lice of­fi­cers don’t have a clue about that. Put me in front of a com­puter and ask me to do anal­y­sis and I’m use­less. But I know how to speak to peo­ple. What I saw in Rochdale was po­lice of­fi­cers and se­nior cops act­ing with­out any shame be­cause it was con­ve­nient to ig­nore the abuse they knew was hap­pen­ing.

“I felt it was wicked. If I can’t look my­self in the mir­ror and feel proud of what I’m do­ing then it makes me as bad as them. So I had to make a stand for what I be­lieved was right.

“And don’t be­lieve any of this rub­bish that po­lice have learned from their mis­takes. I worked on an al­most iden­ti­cal op­er­a­tion in 2004, Op­er­a­tion Au­gusta, which had iden­ti­fied dozens of young vic­tims and dozens of sus­pects. It was a vir­tual car­bon copy of Rochdale, men of largely Pak­istani her­itage were abus­ing vul­ner­a­ble white girls, in Hulme and around the Curry Mile in Rusholme. I was on that job for a year and a half. It was a huge in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“My hus­band Nor­man be­came ill and sadly passed away. I had to take time off and by the time I came back three months later the job had lit­er­ally died a death. I was to­tally in­cred­u­lous. It just didn’t make sense. It was as if it had never hap­pened. The girls had told me what had hap­pened. I’d gained their trust. I’d given them my word that GMP would take their al­le­ga­tions for­ward and that they should trust us.

“We’d found lo­ca­tions where the abuse had hap­pened, ve­hi­cles used to trans­port the vic­tims and had iden­ti­fied many se­rial sex of­fend­ers. We also had so­cial work­ers telling us they’d been try­ing to get the po­lice to take this prob­lem se­ri­ously for years. But not one of­fender was ar­rested or charged. I couldn’t be­lieve it. It was as if none of it had

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