Statement from Chief Constable Ian Hopkins
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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. I am committed to doing all we can to ensure that they receive the justice today that they were denied 15 years ago.
Since the Mayor of Greater Manchester launched his review looking into the abuse of vulnerable children in care and the involvement of Greater Manchester Police, I have been personally involved and committed to sharing all of the information that the review team required.
In August 2018, it became clear that the Operation Augusta investigation was not to the standard that I would expect. I immediately commissioned a review to ensure that any risks posed by potential perpetrators would be addressed.
I also wanted to ensure that any victims were provided with the appropriate support from specialist agencies.
Following our internal review, a multi-agency team was established under Operation Green Jacket.
This included an SIO led Major Incident Team who were prepared to follow any potential lines of enquiry which could be pursued and seek to bring any potential perpetrators to justice.
To date Operation Green Jacket has identified 53 potential victims. 48 of these children were in looked after care in 2004/05.
Of the 53 identified, we have so far identified viable lines of enquiry in relation to 38 victims.
This includes the horrific abuse of Victoria Agoglia. In September 2019, one man was arrested and another interviewed under caution. Both men have been released under investigation and our enquiries remain ongoing.
We will continue to do all that we can to safeguard children within our communities. Greater Manchester Police will investigate any report of child exploitation that is made.