Grooming Gangs Whistleblower Slams Toxic Cop Culture After Sarah Everard Murdered by London Officer

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Feminist group Sisters Uncut protest outside the central criminal court as the sentencing hearing for Wayne Couzens takes place at Old Bailey on September 29, 2021 in London, England. Wayne Couzens, 48, is facing his sentencing hearing for the rape and murder of Sarah Everard, …
Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

The former detective who blew the whistle on the grooming gang scandal in Rochdale has condemned the toxic cop culture that led to the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Scotland Yard officer, warning that even if Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick resigns, she would only be replaced by another high-ranking officer who had graduated through the same, self-serving ranks.

Maggie Oliver had quit Greater Manchester Police in 2012 to expose the mass rapes of working-class white girls by predominantly Pakistani Muslim men, accusing officers in comments made last year of “deliberate acts to bury and ignore the abuse of many, many vulnerable children” which she said was “gross criminal neglect” and “covering up the truth” that went to “the top echelons of Greater Manchester Police”.

talkRADIO host Kevin O’Sullivan asked Ms Oliver on Tuesday if she recognised the same “toxic cop culture” when she was challenging the cover-ups of grooming gangs in the north of England to that which resulted in the several reported workplace incidents surrounding Wayne Couzens before he falsely arrested Miss Everard in March to kidnap, rape, and murder her.

Ms Oliver responded: “Yes, 100 per cent. This is exactly what I’ve been talking about for the past ten years — probably 25 years since I joined the police. Greater Manchester Police in many respects was stuck in the dark ages… This case has put the spotlight clearly on some of those failures.

“Tragic, though, the death of this young woman is… this case will become the focus of the attention when the actual problem goes far deeper than this case. It goes right to the heart of policing and public trust which has been lost from policing.”

Acknowledging the tragedy of Miss Everard’s death, the former Manchester detective, however, noted that part of the reason why Sarah Everard’s case has gained so much attention compared to others was that she was a ‘decent’ woman with a career and from a good home.

“I’ve seen hundreds of victims of abuse and women being raped and violently assaulted who have been written off and ignored because they don’t fit into the ‘victim’ picture,” Ms Oliver said.

Oliver had claimed that her former colleagues at GMP had turned a blind eye to the abuse of girls in Rochdale, at times blaming the children, many of which were troubled and from broken homes, for their own abuse. She made a similar observation of authorities in Bradford in August, whom she had accused of being “too afraid of being accused of racism” to pursue the perpetrators and condemning the “attitude that these victims deserve what has happened to them. They are judged to be making a lifestyle choice, rather than as vulnerable children who are being exploited.”

Metropolitan Police Commission Cressida Dick has since announced an independent review of Scotland Yard, claiming she was “furious” a serving officer abused his power to rape and murder a woman.

Responding to the announcement, Ms Oliver told talkRADIO on Tuesday that the “problem is not just the Met, it’s policing throughout the whole country”, suggesting that there was a culture amongst officers not to inform on each other for serious criminal behaviour or negligence, adding that Dick was a typical product of the kind of culture that seeks to protect its own.

Oliver said: “Cressida Dick is an example of what is going on in many police forces. She is trying to protect the organisation. Cover up the truth. My experience leads me to know that to get to that rank in the police, you have come to a point where you have to choose between your own conscience and what is in the best interest of the organisation.”

On calls from across the political spectrum for the commissioner to resign, Ms Oliver warned that “the person who would replace her would have been through the same system that she has”.

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.