The real angel of the north: The abuse of young girls by Rochdale sex gangs is one of the great scandals of our time. In a shattering new book, the policewoman who revealed the truth breaks her silence – and shames the superiors who betrayed her...
'They were robbed of their childhood by a gang of Asian paedophiles and dismissed as ‘white trash’ by people who should know better.
To me, however, the two sisters at the heart of the Rochdale scandal are like my surrogate children.
Amber and Ruby [not their real names] are both grown-up now, with children of their own, but I know they still don’t feel safe. This week, Amber told me that one of her abusers works in a takeaway close to her home in Rochdale. Her worst fright, though, came last year, when she allowed her daughter to play outside a friend’s house with some other children.
Later, after saying goodbye to her friend, Amber turned and found one of her abusers in front of her, staring at her little girl. Smirking, he walked calmly to his car and drove away.
Oh, he knew who Amber was, all right. He was also fully aware that he’d escaped justice — like so many of his mates, who’d also raped or sexually abused the sisters. They, too, still freely walk the streets of Rochdale. So why weren’t they prosecuted?
As the former police officer who was once at the centre of the Rochdale sex‑gang investigation — and as the whistleblower who exposed its appalling flaws — I believe I know the answer. It’s politics.
Politics appear to drive too many policing decisions. Indeed, my own view is that if you’re promoted to superintendent or above, you can freely let go of your conscience, it seems, and move smoothly up the ladder. But judge for yourselves. This is the story of what happened to Amber and Ruby . . . and to the paedophiles who preyed on them and so many others.
When I graduated from police college in 1997, I was already aged 42 and the mother of four children.
A few years later, I landed my dream job as a family liaison officer with Greater Manchester Police. Then, at the end of 2010, a detective chief superintendent summoned me to his office and asked me to join Operation Span.'
Read more: The real angel of the north: The abuse of young girls by Rochdale sex gangs is one of the great scandals of our time. In a shattering new book, the policewoman who revealed the truth breaks her silence – and shames the superiors who betrayed her...
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