Independent Police Complaints Commission
IPCC response to publication of GMP report on Rochdale child sexual exploitation
IPCC Commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone said: “I welcome Greater Manchester Police’s decision to publish this report. This is a matter of significant public interest and it is important that the findings of the investigation are put into the public domain. I can see that Greater Manchester Police has learned significant lessons around its initial handling of this case.
“Although nine offenders were eventually brought to justice by Greater Manchester Police, it is clear vulnerable young girls were let down by how police initially dealt with their concerns. There was a failure to recognise the seriousness and scale of what was happening in Rochdale. It is appalling that young girls were being exploited and abused and the police did not handle it properly. Greater Manchester Police has admitted that the focus in Rochdale was on tackling volume crime such as robbery and burglary. The force simply did not recognise how to respond to child sexual exploitation on this scale.”
Mr Dipple-Johnstone added: “Although the supervised investigation has concluded a Detective Sergeant did make individual errors in his handling of the investigation, it would be wrong to place the blame solely on him. He highlighted to his superiors that the investigation needed significant resources. His call was not heeded and that failure is puzzling. It took a further three years and the commitment of significant resources to bring the abusers of these girls to justice. With hindsight we must question whether that could have been done sooner, thus preventing these vulnerable girls suffering further abuse.
Mr Dipple-Johnstone said: “This matter was first referred to the IPCC at the end of December in 2010. The original investigative work conducted by GMP failed to look at the supervision of the officers and, as a result, we rejected the report and asked for further work. A second report was received but again rejected as it needed work to address the learning from these events. That is disappointing and such delays in the investigation of allegations against officers cannot help public confidence. I have highlighted this with the force and written to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to ensure they are sighted on the learning for the force from these events.”
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