“At least 57 young girls are thought to have been exploited by a paedophile network based in south Manchester. They were hooked on drugs, groomed, raped and emotionally broken – one youngster, aged fifteen, died,” the Manchester Evening News reports.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham commissioned a report, which contained the following conclusions:
- Social workers knew that one 15-year-old girl, Victoria Agoglia, was being forcibly injected with heroin, but failed to act. She died two months later.
- Abusers were allowed to freely pick up and have sex with Victoria and other children from city care homes, ‘in plain sight’ of officials.
- Greater Manchester Police dropped an operation that identified up to 97 potential suspects and at least 57 potential victims. Eight of the men went on to later assault or rape girls.
- As recently as August 2018, the Chief Constable refused to reopen the dropped operation.
Agoglia allegedly told social workers multiple times that she was being drugged and raped, but they failed to take action.
Following her death, Operation Augusta was launched and nearly 100 Muslim men were said to be involved in abusing young girls, but hardly any charges were filed.
In fact, eight of the men accused of being involved were eventually convicted of separate high-level sexual crimes.
The mayor’s report concluded, “Most of the children we have considered were failed by police and children’s services. The authorities knew that many were being subjected to the most profound abuse and exploitation but did not protect them from the perpetrators.”