Statement from Chief Constable Stephen Watson following apology to Op Span victims

“Today is not about Greater Manchester Police, but about those victims who in the past have been let down when they needed our help in the most traumatic and horrific circumstances. I have now personally delivered my apology to some of these victims for the failings Greater Manchester Police had in its contact with those who suffered child sexual exploitation in Rochdale. It is a matter of profound personal regret that the childhoods of these victims were so cruelly impacted by the dreadful experiences they endured.  GMP could, and should, have done much more to protect them.

“The failings of our past into Child Sexual Exploitation are well known, and thankfully there is today a far better understanding of CSE than there was before the Operation Span trial in May 2012, and we are committed to leaving no stone unturned to bring these offenders to justice, no matter the passage of time, through our dedicated Force CSE unit.  We will strive to keep improving our responses to similarly horrible circumstances, to prevent the same from happening in the first instance and relentlessly pursuing perpetrators so that they can be held fully to account.

“I hope that my apology and commitment to rectifying the poor practices of the past will provide some little comfort to those we failed.

“We have also agreed with the recipients to publish my apologies in full on our website, links.”


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