Police prioritised burglaries and car crime over child rape, says Simon Danczuk

Date published: 12 September 2014

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has claimed that Grater Manchester Police prioritised “burglary and car crime over the rape of children”.

In an interview with Radio 4 presenter Edward Stourton Mr Danczuk said: “We learn more and more about the culture of Greater Manchester Police probably by the week and what we see here is that senior officers were setting a culture which insisted upon prioritising community cohesion, who were insistent upon seeing these girls as the office said as 'scrubbers', effectively ignoring the children that were being raped, but also senior officers creating a culture that was very much about performance driven results to the point where the rape of children was ignored and the priorities were on burglaries and car crime instead. I mean you can’t believe this stuff really.”

A former officer with Greater Manchester Police told Edward Stourton on the World at One show today (Friday 12 September) that this was certainly happening on his patch and that he was aware of the problem from 2000 but action was not taken.

In March this year it was reported that the Greater Manchester area received more than 2,000 complaints in regards to child sex exploitation in 10 months. Rochdale Council had the highest number of children at risk and nine men were jailed in 2012 for operating a paedophile ring in the town.

The officer, whose identity was not revealed, stated: “It was all about driving down crime and reducing victims and reducing the fear of crime to make people feel more comfortable.”

He added that the police became slaves to the politicians and a target to them. He went on to say that if sexual abuse of a child was reported then, within 24 hours, high profile cases would be discussed at a morning management meeting in the division.

If a job came up that wasn’t a “target,” it would be a case of how can we get rid of this as quickly as possible.

In response to issues with politicians and the police, Mr Danczuk said: “I readily accept that politicians of whatever colour – this isn’t a party political issue – will set targets and perhaps Labour set too many targets and I wouldn’t argue with that but what I would say that it is for senior officers, and this is why they are senior officers because they have a duty and a responsibility and get paid handsomely, to make decisions about how they police. Greater Manchester Police made decisions to avoid prosecuting the rapists of children and that’s very upsetting.”

The officer interviewed added that senior officers within GMP had the attitude that if the girls were not reporting the abuse then don’t do anything about it and that the lesser said the better with the girls described as “chaotic girls” living “chaotic lifestyles”.

Issues discussed by the officer were happening before Simon Danczuk was elected as an MP but Edward Stourton was keen to address the fact that Labour were in government.

Mr Danczuk said: “At the end of the day you can't solve crime from Whitehall, you expect senior police officers to make decisions on what crimes are being committed and which ones should be prosecuted.

“What we have seen from this interview is that senior officers from within Greater Manchester Police decided to prioritise burglary and car crime and not have any impact in the terms of the rape of children. I mean, why they would conclude that was more important needs answering.

“I have been studying this for some years now and there were very few prosecutions in and around Rochdale and Greater Manchester for that matter. GMP were just reacting to media enquiries and effectively policing by public relations and that gives me real concerns.”

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