SPECIAL REPORT: A blistering inquiry reveals a vast south Manchester grooming gang targeted vulnerable children ‘in plain sight’ of police and social workers, who then failed to protect kids from abuse and even death. Jen Williams reports.
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.
– 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.