In a blog prior to the release of Ann Coffey’s report into the aftermath of child abuse in Rochdale and other areas I express my scepticism about yet another report into abuse. I was always dubious about how useful a report could be which was instigated and funded by Greater Manchester Police when part of the aims of the report were to comment on the effectiveness of Greater Manchester Police in dealing with abuse since Rochdale hit the headlines. In legal terms we call that a conflict of interests.
My cynicism where GMP are concerned was only heightened by their decision to inform the Press of multiple arrests of suspected abusers on the day before the report was due to be released. The arrests had actually occurred over a week earlier but the GMP publicity machine sought to maximise the benefit from these arrests by coinciding the Press release with Ann Coffey’s report.
In reality the report says little we did not already know. I was concerned at the author’s suggestion that early sexualisation of children may be partly at fault. A paedophile is a paedophile. A rapist is a rapist. We should not be looking at excuses.
As a firm we specialise in abuse claims and claims against the Police and presently have 3 separate actions ongoing against Greater Manchester Police for their failings in relation to the abuse investigations. The simple fact remains that the perpetrators of these crimes were not treated as criminals by the Police for a number of years and it is this attitude that needs to change.