Who is Maggie Oliver? Celebrity Big Brother 2018 star and ex detective who helped expose the Rochdale child sex abuse gang


FORMER police officer Maggie Oliver helped to end the Rochdale grooming ring, a series of crimes which horrified the nation as they came to light.

She's now one of the contestants on Celebrity Big Brother 2018 after quitting the force over the handling of the Rochdale abuse case.

 Margaret Oliver told the BBC other abusers "would be off the streets" if the girl's evidence had been usedBBC Margaret Oliver told the BBC other abusers "would be off the streets" if the girl's evidence had been used

Who is Margaret Oliver?

Margaret Oliver is a former detective constable in Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

The mum-of-four was commended for her work during murder and gang crime inquiries.

Oliver worked on sex abuse investigations in 2004 and 2010.

She worked on a small team assigned to Operation Augusta.

It was looking at allegations about the grooming of white girls in the northwest of England by Pakistani men in 2004.

 Maggie Oliver worked on the Rochdale grooming caseITV Maggie Oliver worked on the Rochdale grooming case

It found 26 teenage girls thought to have had underage sex and a list of 208 potential suspects was drawn up.

When Oliver returned to work following a family bereavement she found the inquiry had been abandoned.

Six years later she joined Operation Span which looked into organised grooming in the Heywood district of Rochdale after a 2008 inquiry failed.

Span secured the convictions of nine men at Liverpool Crown Court in May 2012.

Actress Lesley Sharp recently portrayed her in the harrowing BBC drama Three Girls.

The Sun revealed that Maggie would head into the Celebrity Big Brother 2018 house, joining names such as Jess Impiazzi and Ann Widdecombe.

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Why did Margaret Oliver resign?

She quit the force claiming hundreds of cases of alleged abuse were mishandled or ignored by GMP.

Oliver warned that many offenders were still walking the streets despite being known to police.

It is said police first became aware of allegations about the grooming of white girls in the area by Pakistani men in 2004.

GMP admitted there were “aspects of that [the 2004] investigation that may not be up to today’s standards”.

They also admitted errors were made in the 2008-9 inquiry.

The CPS apologised for failing to treat another victim as a credible witness in 2008.

Former Det Con Oliver spent four months getting to know two girls and encouraging them to give evidence to the police.

When she learned the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had decided not to call one as a witness, she says she felt ashamed of her part in the process.

Oliver said: “We betrayed the trust of those girls and it made me ashamed to be a police officer.”

But Greater Manchester police rejected Oliver’s criticism of Span, describing any suggestion that officers were lazy or apathetic as "grossly inaccurate".

  • Topics
  • Celebrity Big Brother 2018
  • Explainers
  • Rochdale child sex abuse scandal


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