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Victims of Rochdale grooming gangs awarded police damages and apology | United Kingdom | News UK News

The women, now all in their 30s, met Greater Manchester Police Chief Stephen Watson yesterday as he apologized for the breaches of force. As children, the three were repeatedly raped and sexually abused. The force, under former police chiefs, failed to protect them or investigate their attackers, it was said.

Yesterday’s ruling should now ‘set a precedent’ for dozens of other survivors whose lives have been ruined by the Rochdale child sex abuse scandal, campaigners have said.

Mr Watson told the three women: “It is a matter of deep personal regret that your childhood was so cruelly affected by the terrible experiences you endured.

Stephen below Sara “GMP could and should have done a lot more to protect you and we let you down.”

One of the victims, known as Amber, said: “I feel like this is the first time I’ve really been seen and publicly acknowledged by the authorities as an innocent child victim who needed protection.

“As a victim, I should never have been treated the way I was. So it’s a relief, after all these years, that the police have finally acknowledged this.”

Daisy, whose name has also been changed to protect her anonymity, said: “I don’t know if I believe Greater Manchester Police have really changed their ways as they say.

“But I’m glad they took their failures on board and finally there was some accountability.”

The third woman, known as ‘BXW’, said: ‘The police were completely wrong in the way they treated us. I’m relieved that they’ve finally agreed to this and that our legal case is over. “

Last night the social worker who brought the scandal to the attention of the police almost 20 years ago urged them to issue an apology to all the victims.

Sara Rowbotham, who was then a sex health worker in the area, told the Daily Express: “This is good news for the three girls involved, but what about all the others?

“There are at least 180 other survivors of the Rochdale grooming gangs. They should also be apologized and compensated. I hope this sets a precedent.

“If the police had paid attention to what I said in 2003, all the victims would have been protected.”

The three women involved yesterday had been supported by lawyers from the charity Center for Women’s Justice. They took legal action against GMP that since the early 2000s there was mounting evidence that gangs of men groomed, trafficked and sexually abused girls in Rochdale.

Lawyers for the three – one was 14 and two were 12 at the time – successfully argued that their human rights had been violated by GMP, failing to protect them by ending the abuse.

A police operation to tackle gangs was shut down in 2004. Eight years later, nine men were convicted of child sexual abuse in Rochdale.

GMP settled the claim before the case went to court.

Girls raped and assaulted for years

Legal documents revealed the horrific abuse suffered by the three women who won damages from Greater Manchester Police, writes Pat Hurst.

One of the three, identified only as BXW, said the abuse began when she was just 12 and continued for four years.

She revealed that she had been passed “like a bullet” between “thousands” of men for rape and sexual abuse.

She was pregnant by a man, Adil Khan, when she was 13 and had an abortion.

Another woman, identified as Amber, was 14 when the abuse began, according to her legal claim. She was first raped while drunk, then raped and sexually assaulted by numerous men.

She was threatened with a gun and a knife several times when she refused to comply.

Daisy was also just 12 when the abuse began. This continued for the next five years.

Rochdale’s grooming case was made into a BBC drama Three Girls in 2017. It starred Molly Windsor, Ria Zmitrowicz and Liv Hill as victims.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-13 08:57:00

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