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|Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:27 pm Post subject: Operation Augusta police/social worker ignore care home rape
|West Midlands Police chief denies being involved in closing down Manchester grooming gang investigation
Dave Thompson was District Commander with Greater Manchester force at time of Operation Augusta, an investigation into Asian grooming gangs
ByJames RodgerHead of Trends
20:10, 14 JAN 2020
The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Dave Thompson, has denied being involved in closing down a grooming gang investigation in Manchester.
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins had today apologised to children abused "in plain sight" by gang members his officers had failed to bring to justice.
His force had launched Operation Augusta to tackle street grooming by Asian males before the programme was abruptly closed down by senior officers in 2004.
West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson was a District Commander with the Greater Manchester force at the time.
Tonight he said he was never involved in Operation Augusta, although he was identified as being present at a resources meeting about the police investigation.
In a statement seen by Channel 4 News, Mr Thompson added: "As a member of the force at that time, I am very sorry we did not do a better job. However, I am very clear I would not have closed an investigation like this.Ē
Chief Constable Dave Thompson at the launch of Project Guardian (Image: Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live)
Mr Hopkins, meanwhile, spoke after a damning report claimed senior Greater Manchester Police officers and senior officials at Manchester City Council, looking after many of the victims in care, were aware of the abuse allegations but did nothing to act.
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GMP officers are now trying to track down paedophiles 15 years after their victims first told of the abuse.
Malcolm Newsam CBE, a renowned childcare expert, and Gary Ridgeway, a former detective superintendent with Cambridgeshire Police, authors of the report into Operation Augusta, concluded: "The authorities knew that many were being subjected to the most profound abuse and exploitation but did not protect them from the perpetrators.
"This is a depressingly familiar picture and has been seen in many other towns and cities across the country."
At least 57 girls are thought to have been exploited by a paedophile network based in south Manchester
At least 57 girls are thought to have been exploited by a paedophile network based in south Manchester (Image: Manchester Evening News)
Mr Hopkins, who became head of the force in 2015, said: "On behalf of Greater Manchester Police, I want to apologise to all those vulnerable children who were let down in 2004 by police not thoroughly investigating the offences that had been committed against them.
"I want to say that I am personally disgusted that these children were not cared for and by the awful abuse that they suffered."
GMP has re-launched the grooming investigation, now called Operation Green Jacket, and identified 53 potential victims, 48 of them in council care at the time with "viable lines of enquiry" to investigate regarding 38 victims.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins
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Assistant Chief Constable Mabs Hussain of GMP told the PA news agency: "The victims have been incredibly upset.
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"They have been very upset about the abuse they have suffered. They are incredibly hurt by how they were let down and nobody listened to what they had to say.
"They talk about having to re-live the nightmare.
"We clearly failed these young people and our focus today is making sure they get the justice they were denied in 2004, 2005."
Mr Hussein said he expected police will bring charges against some suspects but declined to apologise directly to Maggie Oliver, the former GMP detective who turned whistleblower over Operation Augusta.
He said: "Our apology is to the victims and I'm grateful to all those individuals who have raised awareness of these horrendous offences in our communities."
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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