Justice For Children
SPECIAL REPORT FROM ROCHDALE BRITISH NATIONAL PARTY.
Nine men have today, 8 May 2012, been convicted as part Greater Manchester Police’s largest ever investigation into child sexual exploitation.
The inquiry was led by GMP's Public Protection Division, assisted by the Major Incident Team and Rochdale division, and focused on allegations that five teenage girls in Rochdale were sexually exploited over a period of time by a group of 11 men.
Over the course of several years, the girls were systematically raped and abused by the defendants. They were aged between 13 and 17 at the time of the offences.
Displaying classic grooming behaviour, the men plied their young vulnerable victims with alcohol, food and money in return for sex.
On some occasions the girls were beaten if they didn't agree to have sex and on others they were so drunk that they didn't know what was being done to them.
The men, most of whom knew each other, would pass some of the girls around between then and even paid some of the victims to bring them new girls.
One of the victims told police: "At first I was scared, then after that it...just didn't bother me anymore...At first I felt dead bad and horrible, but then I didn't feel anything."
Officers who have carried out this investigation are still hunting Mohammed Shahzad (born 1/04/72), who has not been seen since 15 June 2011. Shazad is wanted for rape.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Mike Sanderson, of the Public Protection Division, said: "What we are dealing with here is the deliberate targeting of young, vulnerable girls by a group of older and in most cases much older men who simply saw them as ‘fair game’.
"They used classic grooming techniques to first take them into their confidence. The young vulnerable underage victims were plied with alcohol, food and, in some cases, small amounts of cash.
"The victims were passed around and abused repeatedly.
"They preyed on the fact that the young girls were extremely vulnerable and impressionable. Bombarded with a constant stream of attention and flattery, some of these victims genuinely thought these men were their boyfriends and they were in 'grown up' relationships.
"Nothing could have been further from the truth. The men knew the girls were underage and they knew what they were doing was criminally and ethically wrong.
"Due to the fact that many girls involved didn't see themselves as victims, they were initially reluctant to talk in great detail to officers.
"However, over the course of many hours of interviews by specially trained officers we managed to identify a clear pattern of offending.
"It is testament to my team of dedicated officers that we are now in the position where a group of serial abusers have been taken out of circulation.
"I must stress however that without the bravery of the victims none of these men would have been brought before the courts."
Detective Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle, Head of GMP's Public Protection Division, said: "This case demonstrates the force's absolute commitment to tackling head-on child sexual exploitation and the abuse of vulnerable people.
"Since this case first came to light we have fundamentally changed the way we deal with all vulnerable members of the community.
"Like many forces, Greater Manchester Police now has working strategies in place to combat child exploitation and will work together with other agencies to prosecute people who target vulnerable children and young people.
"Child sex exploitation is something that parents and carers everywhere should be aware of. It can be committed by all ethnicities and against boys as well as girls. This type of offending is about older men and women taking advantage of vulnerable young people for their own sexual gratification.
"I want to take this opportunity to implore all parents and carers to talk to their children. Take an active interest in what they are doing and warn them not to go off with strangers, no matter how tempting it might seem. Parents and guardians also need to educate their children about what are acceptable relationships and how their children’s relationships should be ‘age appropriate’.
"Like many cases of exploitation, the victims in this investigation did not recognise that they are being exploited and sometimes confuse what is exploitation and what is genuine affection. In many cases they naively believed they were somehow exploiting the men, rather than the other way round.
"We work closely with local authorities, and other organisations such as Barnardo's, to address the specific issue of adults befriending and grooming younger people for sex.
"Our priorities are twofold - the protection of the victims, and the building up of evidence against perpetrators. In order to provide the best possible support for the children involved, we have enlisted the help of Barnardo's, who have many years of experience of dealing with such cases up and down the country."
Sheila Taylor MBE, Director of the National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People said:
“I congratulate agencies in Rochdale on working together to tackle this issue. They have been very keen to improve their understanding and approach on sexual exploitation and trafficking. They have developed their services to tackle all forms of exploitation in accordance with the National Action Plan. This isn’t just an issue for the North of England. Sexual exploitation happens in all cities, towns and in rural areas. We have to develop our thinking around tackling the issues and look at ways to improve the therapeutic care we give to those young people who have suffered this abuse.”
“For a long time sexual exploitation had been under the radar, but in recent years we have seen a real surge of understanding and response to young people who have been victims. There have been several court cases in the last two years like this that attract significant attention, but there are also many other young victims that do not fit this style of sexual exploitation and don't attract the same public attention. The experience of abuse through sexual exploitation and those who carry out the abuse is cross a wide range of social backgrounds. We need to ensure everyone who intends to commit a crime of this type should be shown zero tolerance.”
Lynne Jones, Chair of Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board said:
“Research has shown that sexual exploitation is going on in every town and city in the UK. The national focus on the issue will help to raise awareness and improve the way in which children are protected and perpetrators prosecuted. Locally we are talking to young people in all secondary schools, alerting them to the dangers and providing information for their parents. Staff in all organisations have received information and have attended training courses to raise their awareness and ability to respond to young people who may be at risk.”
Anyone who is concerned about a child or young person should call Greater Manchester Police on 101 or 999 in emergencies. You can also call the NSPCC on 0800 800 5000. Any child or young person wanting help and advice can use the numbers above or contact Childline on 0800 1111.
Please also call the Runaway Helpline on 0808 800 70 70 if you need help. The helpline provides free 24 hour confidential support, help and advice
Telltale signs of child exploitation to look for include:
• Disengagement from education; young people who are not in school during the day may be more at risk of sexual exploitation. Children who are becoming involved in this activity may begin to skip school or become disruptive
• Risky behaviours; including secretive use of mobile phones and the internet
• Repeatedly going missing
• Unexplained gifts; children who appear to have new clothes, jewellery, mobile phones or money that cannot ‘plausibly’ be accounted for
• Peers and friends; involved in sexual exploitation and with ‘older’ boyfriends/girlfriends
• Drugs/alcohol; drug or alcohol abuse may leave children more vulnerable to sexual exploitation, it is also true to say that ‘abusers’ may use drugs and alcohol to help control children
• Sexual health issues; a history of unprotected sex leading to STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infection) or inappropriate sexual behaviour.
In late 2010 workers from the Sunrise project in Rochdale, made up of members of the health trust's crisis intervention team and officers from GMP Public Protection Division, noted a large number of girls reporting cases of underage sex with adult men.
In December 2010, officers spoke to one victim - who was aged between 15 and 16 during the period of abuse - who alleged she had been abused after meeting a man who worked at the Balti House takeaway in Market Street, Heywood. She had been given food by an older man who took her to the back of the shop and sexually assaulted her.
She told officers she had been given alcohol, driven round the area in a taxi and knew other girls who were also being exploited in this way.
A number of other victims were identified and specially trained officers interviewed them over the course of several weeks, building up a picture of systematic abuse at the hands of a large number of men. The abuse had taken place over a large period of time between 2008 and 2010.
As the girls were frequently given alcohol and passed from one man to another, they were often unable to provide the exact whereabouts and details of where the abuse took place.
As most of the offenders only used nicknames to describe each other, officers had to piece together different pieces of evidence to identify a potential offender. In some cases officers were provided with partial names and in others they were given rough locations of houses or premises they had been taken to for 'sex parties'. There were few forensic opportunities for officers as the offences took place over such a large time period.
Over the coming months officers interviewed more than 50 potential offenders after speaking to a pool of 47 potential victims or witnesses.
The defendants were charged after being successfully picked out during identity parades.
FACES OF EVIL, MUSLIM PAEDO SCUM
Abdul Rauf, born 1/1/69, of Darley Road, Rochdale, was convicted of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child and trafficking a child within the UK.
Adil Khan, born 1/1/70, of Oswald Street, Rochdale, was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child and trafficking a child within the UK.
Mohammed Amin, born 16/4/67, of Falinge Road, Falinge, was convicted of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child and sexual assault.
Mohammed Sajid, born 1/1/77, of Jepheys Street, Rochdale, was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child, sexual activity with a child, rape and trafficking a child within the UK.
Abdul Aziz, born 15/12/70, of Armstrong Hurst Close, Rochdale, was convicted of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child and trafficking a child within the UK
Abdul Qayyum, born 22/2/68, of Ramsay Street, Rochdale, was convicted of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.
Hamid Safi, born 1/1/90, of Kensington Street, Rochdale, was convicted of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child and trafficking a child within the UK.
Kabeer Hassan, born 5/10/86, of Lacrosse Avenue, Oldham, was convicted of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child and rape, being aider and abettor.
One is outstanding an on the run and for legal reason we can not name the man.
FACTFILE:Number of officers involved in the case: A team of 20 officers working for 12 months
Number of officer actions generated as part of the investigation: 1,569
Number of documents generated by officers: 3,705
Potential victims or witnesses interviewed: 47
Potential offenders or witnesses interviewed: 56