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Operation Augusta reaction after explosive report exposes how police and local authorities failed children being groomed and raped by gangs

Operation Augusta reaction after explosive report exposes how police and local authorities failed children being groomed and raped by gangs

United Kingdom (UK)
News Date: 

A damning report has revealed how 

Press conferences were being held today after the report's puiblication.

The 145-page report, commissioned by the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham,  and launched on the back of allegations made by former GMP detective Maggie Oliver, was compiled and written over two years by child care expert Malcolm Newsam and Gray Ridgway, a former detective superintendent with Cambridgeshire Police.

The report considers Operation Augusta, launched in 2004 by GMP after the death of a 15-year-old girl who told those supposed to be caring for her of her sexual abuse at the hands of Asian men.

Children were raped and abused by up to 100 members of a Manchester grooming gang sixteen years ago - but despite police and social workers knowing what was happening they weren’t stopped.

At least 57 young girls are thought to have been exploited by a paedophile network based in south Manchester. They were hooked on drugs, groomed, raped and emotionally broken - one youngster, aged fifteen, died.

The disturbing story of the gang's crimes, the betrayal of the victims, and the scale of institutional neglect is disclosed in a damning two year inquiry into historic failures in the protection of children in Manchester.

The report, commissioned by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, found:

- Social workers knew that one 15-year-old girl, Victoria Agoglia, was being forcibly injected with heroin, but failed to act. She died two months later.

- Abusers were allowed to freely pick up and have sex with Victoria and other children from city care homes, ‘in plain sight’ of officials.


- Greater Manchester Police dropped an operation that identified up to 97 potential suspects and at least 57 potential victims. Eight of the men went on to later assault or rape girls.

- As recently as August 2018, the Chief Constable refused to reopen the dropped operation.

After her death a police investigation, Operation Augusta, was set up to see if there was a wider problem of child sexual exploitation in south Manchester. Officers managed to quickly identify a network of nearly 100 Asian men potentially involved in the abuse of scores of girls via takeaways in and around Rusholme, but the operation was shut down shortly afterwards due to resources, ‘rather than a sound understanding’ of whether lines of inquiry had been exhausted.

Barely any charges were made against the men identified by the operation. Eight of them later went on to commit serious sexual crimes, including the rape of a child, the rape of a young woman, sexual assault and sexual activity with a child. 

Council files reviewed by the inquiry show a number of children in care at the same time as Victoria had reported ‘harrowing’ abuse to social services, including one ‘very young’ girl who described being restrained by a man in his 20s, before being subjected to ‘an extremely serious and distressing sexual act’.