Independent Review into Historic Safeguarding Practices in Oldham
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Today sees the publication of the independent review into historic safeguarding practices in Oldham.
This was commissioned in November 2019 by Oldham Council who requested that the Mayor of Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Safeguarding Standards Board’s independent chair conduct a review into safeguarding practices in Oldham.
You can read more about the review and its report on the GMCA website.
The review found that the safeguarding arrangements that were in place at Oldham Council and Greater Manchester Police during the period covered by the review were not good enough to protect children from sexual abuse, particularly highlighting the case of one 12 year-old girl ‘Sophie’.
Chief Constable Stephen Watson said:
“The safeguarding arrangements that were in place in GMP during the time period covered by the review were not good enough to protect children from sexual abuse.
“I want to offer my sincere apologies to everyone affected by the events considered in the report. Our actions fell far short of the help that they had every right to expect and were unacceptable. I am sorry for the hurt and on-going trauma they have suffered because of what happened to them.
“I intend to meet directly with Sophie and those that have been supporting her through this very difficult time and I welcome being able to apologise to her in person. However, I would also like to take the opportunity today to state publicly that I am very sorry for the failings in how we responded to her call for help; for how we did not record or sufficiently investigate the crimes committed against her and did not do enough to listen and support her during the subsequent reviews we undertook of her case.
“I offer no excuses but can give assurances that our approach to tackling child exploitation has vastly improved and is now a policing priority”.