Final IICSA report lays bare the scale of abuse across the country

Final IICSA report lays bare the scale of abuse across the country

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence
Lib Dem Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani has insisted that the final, damning report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) is on the agenda for the first meeting of Oldham Council’s steering group tasked with tackling child sex exploitation in the borough. Oldham’s senior leadership team have already agreed to Liberal Democrat requests to ensure that any relevant recommendations from the IICSA reports are put into place in the borough. Councillor Al-Hamdani said: “This report shows that child sex abuse is a national problem that has been catastrophically under-reported, and the failings that were seen in Oldham have been also seen in cities and towns all across the UK. “We need to support those incredibly committed social workers, who we do have in Oldham, to really make changes that…
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Government ministers refuse Oldham Liberal Democrats request for a public inquiry into child sex exploitation

Borough news, CSE, domestic abuse and violence, Parliamentary news
Home Office minister Amanda Solloway MP has ruled out an independent public inquiry into child sex exploitation in Oldham. Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE wrote to the Home Office back in July urging Conservative ministers to open a full and independent public inquiry into the failings of Greater Manchester Police, Oldham Council and other services that resulted in horrendous cases of child sexual abuse. In his letter to the Home Secretary, Councillor Sykes said: “I hope you will use your position to show people in Oldham that failure to protect children can never be accepted in our public institutions. It is only through meticulously investigating these failings that we can have true accountability and begin to earn back the trust of the people of Oldham.” But the…
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Change in law barring sex offenders from standing for or holding elected office is welcomed

Borough news, CSE, domestic abuse and violence, fairer council
After years of campaigning, Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE has welcomed the news that laws will be changed to prevent people on the sex offenders register holding elected office. Councillor Sykes said: “I am pleased that the common-sense law change is finally coming into effect. Rishi Sunak announced that the government would adopt this proposal back when he was a Local Government Minister in 2018 but he’s dragged his feet on getting the law changed.” The changes to the Local Government Act were finally put before MPs in June and were signed off by both Houses of Parliament on July 6th. The Statuary Instruments (S.I) to make this law have now also been approved. The new regulations come into effect immediately for all local elections in England.…
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Failure to investigate crimes highlight again GMP’s inadequacies

Failure to investigate crimes highlight again GMP’s inadequacies

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence
Greater Manchester Police closed 141,010 cases last year without even identifying a suspect, new analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed. The party’s analysis of new Home Office figures found that of the 360,099 offences committed between April 2021 and March 2022 39.16% were not investigated. Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani said: “These awful figures show criminals are getting away with victimising people on an industrial scale. The Conservative party love to talk tough on crime, but they can’t even get the basics right. “And on Andy Burnham’s watch, GMP has remained stubbornly in special measures, has been cited repeatedly for failing victims of domestic abuse, and failed to engage in the recent review into child sex exploitation in Oldham. “That is just part of the reason why we have written to the Home Secretary asking for…
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Council and GMP – no action against CSE failure staff

Council and GMP – no action against CSE failure staff

Borough news, CSE, domestic abuse and violence
Oldham Liberal Democrats have discovered that, despite Oldham Council’s and Greater Manchester Police’s assurances that processes to deal with Child Sexual Exploitation have changed extensively, they have also confirmed that no disciplinary actions have so far been taken with any staff still employed who took part in the failures described in the report. The recent Assurance Review into historic CSE in Oldham found that both GMP and Oldham Council had failed numerous children who were suffering horrific abuse. Twelve year old Sophie was sexually abused multiple times over multiple occasions and many of the incidents were known to GMP and Council staff who did not respond appropriately. Both GMP and Oldham Council have confirmed that, whilst many of the staff involved have either left or retired, no remaining staff have…
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50 questions for Burnham and council bosses

50 questions for Burnham and council bosses

Borough news, CSE, domestic abuse and violence
Liberal Democrat councillors have said that the report into historic safeguarding and CSE in the borough is just the start of a rigorous investigation into what went wrong for Sophie and other children. They have submitted 50 questions to Council Chief Executive Harry Catherall, Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham and to the authors of the report, Gary Newsam and Malcolm Ridgway. Mark Kenyon, Liberal Democrat councillor for Grotton, Springhead & Lees, said: “The report raises more questions than it answers. It was intended to give us all assurance that CSE was and is being targeted effectively. While these questions are outstanding, none of us can have that assurance.” Questions being asked include: why the reports authors weren’t allowed free access to GMP records, why only half of the 104 people…
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Out with the old – what about the new

Out with the old – what about the new

Borough news, CSE, domestic abuse and violence
At this week’s [27/06/22] meeting of full Council, GM Mayor Andy Burnham said that former Chief Constable Ian Hopkins was replaced because of a lack of progress in providing information to the CSE inquiry in Oldham.  This contradicts the statements put out at the time that he had resigned because of the police being put into special measures.  It also fails to address the subsequent 11-month gap between his resignation and ANY information being provided to the CSE inquiry, and fails to explain why information was only provided on one of the 11 cases under review – with that one showing serious failures on the part of GMP. Liberal Democrat spokesperson Sam Al-Hamdani said: “This is an absolute failure. “GMP has been warned about failing victims of domestic abuse repeatedly…
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Oldham’s Child Sexual Exploitation report to be released Monday – reaction

Oldham’s Child Sexual Exploitation report to be released Monday – reaction

Borough news, CSE, domestic abuse and violence, fairer council
Oldham Liberal Democrats have said that due care must be taken with responses to the independent inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Oldham, to be released on Monday, and it “must be viewed in the knowledge of the terrible and lasting impact CSE has had on the lives of many of this borough’s most vulnerable young people”.  The report is being released with a background of serial failings of the senior management of Greater Manchester Police, including the botched introduction and inadequacies of the now-abandoned iOPS computer system, and the force being placed into special measures. Liberal Democrat spokesperson Sam Al-Hamdani said: “People must know that Oldham Council, the police, and the services that they rely on have changed, and will continue to change, so that others will not have…
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Independent investigation must be given all the time it needs, and all the additional support it can get

Independent investigation must be given all the time it needs, and all the additional support it can get

Borough news, CSE, domestic abuse and violence
Responding to the motion on the CSE report to Oldham Council last night [16/03/22], Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani said: “Everyone must always put the needs of survivors first, and it is important to recognise that independent experts in this area are in favour of the extension of the investigation.  “It is still justified to ask questions to ensure that the investigation gets all the support it needs. If some of the delays in the process of the report were unnecessary, we must identify that and ensure that these extensions do not happen again, particularly for those who have already come forward and given their evidence. “Regardless of the outcome of the vote, I would like to see the Council reach out to the investigation team and the Home Office,…
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Misogyny vote: Conservatives turning a blind eye to anti-women hatred

Misogyny vote: Conservatives turning a blind eye to anti-women hatred

Borough news, CSE, domestic abuse and violence, Parliamentary news
The Liberal Democrats have criticised the Government for rejecting a law that would make misogyny a hate crime. Today, Conservative MPs voted against the law, which had been passed by the House of Lords last month. The vote comes days after a man pleaded guilty to the murder of Sabina Nessa and just days before the anniversary of the murder of Sarah Everard. Cross-party peers had added a clause to the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to make crimes motivated by hatred of women aggravated offences, so they are treated as seriously as crimes motivated by racial or religious hatred. Liberal Democrat MPs voted to keep the amendment, which now returns to the House of Lords. Wera Hobhouse MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Justice and Women & Equalities,…
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