Sports field with goal posts and houses in the distance

Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation

It's not okay - campaign to tackle child sexual exploitation

The ‘It’s not okay’ website was put together by Project Phoenix, a unique collaboration of public and third sector partners throughout Greater Manchester. 

Our aims are to:

  • Raise awareness of child sexual exploitation
  • Help people recognise the signs
  • Encourage people to report it
  • Provide support to victims and those most at risk

Child sexual exploitation is a priority for all local safeguarding children boards in Greater Manchester and the work being done by Project Phoenix is a key priority for Greater Manchester at the most senior level.

It's Not Okay website

Independent Assurance Reviews
into child sexual exploitation in Greater Manchester

Independent assurance reviews of the effectiveness of multi-agency responses to child sexual exploitation in Greater Manchester, written and carreied out by child protection specialist Malcolm Newsam CBE and former senior police officer Gary Ridgway.

Part One: Operation Augusta

Following the airing of the BBC documentary, The Betrayed Girls, about child sexual exploitation in Greater Manchester on 3 July 2017, the Mayor announced he wanted to assure himself and the public that everything possible has been done to protect children today and in the future and prevent it from happening again.

The findings of the first independent review were published on Tuesday 14 Jan 2020 - An assurance review of Operation Augusta.

The report, written by child protection specialist Malcolm Newsam CBE and former senior police officer Gary Ridgway, considers the Operation Augusta investigation, which was launched by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) following the death of 15-year-old Victoria Agoglia, who – after years of abuse and days after she was injected with heroin by a 50-year-old man - died in hospital of an overdose in 2003.

Independent Assurance Review Part One - Operation Augusta (PDF, 1.4MB)

Operation Augusta and Child Sexual Exploitation in Greater Manchester - GMCA news article

GMCA Addendum to paragraph 5.50 of Independent Assurance Review Part One - Operation Augusta (PDF, 144KB)

Part Two: Oldham

The independent assurance review into historic child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Oldham, published on 20 June 2022 found there were serious failings in the handling of some cases, particularly of the victim, ‘Sophie’. The review team found that some children had been failed by the agencies that were meant to protect them because child protection procedures had not been properly followed.

Evidence of poor practice was attributed to a structural flaw the review team found in the multi-agency system that was set up to tackle to CSE leading to some children not being protected and perpetrators not being apprehended earlier.

However, the review team found no evidence either through interviews or documentary review to suggest senior managers or councillors sought to cover-up the existence of CSE or the complexity involved in tackling perpetrators and nor was there widespread CSE in residential settings, in shisha bars or in the local taxi trade.

The review was commissioned in November 2019 by Oldham Council who requested that the Mayor of Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Safeguarding Standards Board’s independent chair conduct a review into safeguarding practices in Oldham.

Independent Assurance Review Part Two - Historic Safeguarding Practices in Oldham (PDF, 1.2MB)

Review into historic safeguarding practices in Oldham - GMCA news article

Independent review into historical safeguarding practice - Oldham Council website