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The Telegraph
The Telegraph
11 Feb 2023


Maggie Oliver, the former detective turned whistleblower, helped expose the Rochdale paedophile scandal
Maggie Oliver, the former detective turned whistleblower, helped expose the Rochdale paedophile scandal Credit: MEN Media

Child sex abuse perpetrated by British Pakistani grooming gangs is still taking place and being ignored by the police almost a decade after it was exposed, a new documentary has claimed.

Maggie Oliver, the former detective turned whistleblower, who helped expose the Rochdale paedophile scandal, said her foundation, which was set up to support victims, is still being contacted by dozens of girls every month.

While many are coming forward to report historic abuse that occurred when they were younger, there are also those who claim they are still being targeted by older men seeking to sexually exploit and rape them.

Appearing on the documentary, Grooming Gangs: Britain’s Shame, which will be broadcast on GB News on Saturday, she said the police and authorities were still failing to take the matter seriously and were continuing to let victims down.

She said: “This is going on today. We've been approached by 60 victims in the last three days who are currently being failed by the police.

“It is not a historical problem. Very little has changed. We have seen trials. But all too often these children are still being judged, and fobbed off and that is not good enough.”

In 2014, a damning report published by Professor Alexis Jay concluded that more than 1,400 children had been raped, beaten and sexually abused by gangs of paedophiles in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

Professor Alexis Jay published a report in 2014 that revealed the extent of the issue of grooming gangs in Rotherham
Professor Alexis Jay published a report in 2014 that revealed the extent of the issue of grooming gangs in Rotherham Credit: Dave Higgens/PA

Victims as young as 11 were groomed and trafficked across the north of England by gangs of men, mainly of Pakistani heritage, with the police and local council failing to address the problem for fear of being labelled racist.

Further shocking cases were later uncovered in towns across the country, including Rochdale, Bradford, Oxford, Telford and Newcastle.

But despite major investigations being launched in order to bring the perpetrators to court, those working with victims insist they are still being denied justice.

In one case being handled by The Maggie Oliver Foundation, a woman who was abused from the age of 13 claims she is still being targeted by the same gang.

She said her abusers have sent her photographs of her family members threatening to harm them if she does not comply with their demands.

When she raised the case with police she said she was dismissed and at one point even branded a “prostitute”.

Elsewhere, a group of survivors came forward to the foundation in 2021 after their case was closed by police.

They had a significant amount of evidence, including phone messages and photographs of injuries inflicted by the perpetrators, which they had also shared with the detectives, but this was not considered enough to charge the suspected rapists. The case has since been reopened.

Mrs Oliver said far from this being a problem of the past, the grooming gangs were still operating without fear of being brought to justice.

She said: "Child sexual abuse and exploitation by ‘grooming gangs’ is a current problem. We see through our work at The Maggie Oliver Foundation that, if anything, these gangs are getting more sophisticated in their tactics and the problem more widespread.

“Access to mobile phones and apps like Snapchat makes young girls so much more accessible to these criminals. 

“It's so important that the public are aware of this so they can spot the signs and we can keep the pressure on police and statutory services to take these crimes seriously and protect those at risk from these dangerous men.”

Grooming Gangs: Britain’s Shame is broadcast on Saturday at 8pm on GB News