Police officers involved in the sexual grooming of children in Rochdale will not be disciplined, a report by Greater Manchester police has revealed.
Following an investigation of the conduct of 13 officers over two years between 2008 and 2010, the force served notices of misconduct on only seven.
An inspector, was found to have warranted disciplinary action but retired without any sanction being taken against him. The remaining six officers were given “words of advice” by superiors.
The investigation took four years to complete under the supervision of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
The officer who retired had been in a supervisory role in 2008 when Girl A, the teenager at the heart of the landmark 2012 trial of nine paedophiles, made her allegations of abuse. He had been in the force for 30 years.
A second officer failed to serve an abduction notice on Shabir Ahmed, the leader of the gang who preyed on girls visiting two takeaways in Heywood. A third was criticised for yawning while interviewing Girl A about her allegations.
The assistant chief constable of Greater Manchester police (GMP), Dawn Copley, said: “This report, and the previous serious case review, identified that at the time in 2008-10 there was a strong target driven focus, predominantly on serious acquisitive crime.
“At best this was distracting for leaders and influenced the areas that resources were focussed on. This has now changed significantly. Child sexual exploitation remains a huge challenge for GMP but it is now one of our top priorities and our understanding and experience of dealing with these types of cases has increased significantly.
“It is unusual for internal investigation reports to be released into the public domain. However, we recognise the significant public interest in this case and felt it was important to take the unusual step to issue this report and to demonstrate to the public that this has been thoroughly investigated, addressed and lessons have been learned.”
In total, nine men from Rochdale and Oldham were found guilty of offences that included rape and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child. Of these, eight were Pakistani and the other man was from Afghanistan. The court heard the group had plied five victims with drink and drugs and “passed them around” for sex.