Child ‘Beaten in Unprovoked Attack’, Police Say Not ‘Cost Effective’ to Investigate


A mother said she has filed a formal complaint to police after they refused to investigate a vicious alleged attack on her 12-year-old daughter stating it would not be “cost effective” and that “crime has gone through the roof”.

Victoria Woods said her daughter Isabelle was punched, kicked, and thrown down a hill in Wildmoore Avenue Park, Oldham, on Wednesday in an unprovoked attack after she was set on by a group of around 15 youths — none of whom she knew, Manchester Evening News reported.

Recalling how her daughter was “in floods of tears” after the attack, which left her with bruising, deep scratches, and “caked in mud”, Ms. Woods described the response from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) over the incident as “diabolical”.

A day after reporting the assault she received a telephone call from a female officer who explained that police would not be taking the case any further “because it wasn’t a major crime and it was ‘just kids fighting’, in her words,” Ms. Woods said.

“She said the inspector had decided it was not ‘cost effective’ to investigate it in terms of the cost and manpower hours.

“I made it very clear I wasn’t impressed and I didn’t think it was an adequate response,” she said, noting: “It’s not just girls fighting. There was a group of 15, one attacked her and one was videoing it.

“It was not a situation she could defend herself in. My daughter is terrified of going out.”

Ms. Woods said she later received a follow-up call from a detective constable who reiterated the decision not to investigate, maintaining it would not be “cost effective” and that it was not a “major crime”.

The officer also “tried blaming the government for not having enough police officers, and said that crime had gone through the roof”, she said.

“She kept repeating it was not cost effective, that she doesn’t like ringing people to say they will not be investigating, but it is the government’s fault and that they don’t have enough police officers,” added Ms. Woods.

Superintendent Danny Inglis, of GMP Oldham Borough, said: “I understand the alarm that this assault on the young girl may have caused but an assessment was made that it wouldn’t be in the public’s interest to continue with the investigation.

“This is due to the amount of time and resources that would be spent on the investigation where a successful conviction would be unlikely.”

Earlier this year, GMP Chief Constable Ian Hopkins admitted the force was “just not able to get to every single crime and investigate every single crime to the degree the public would wish us to”.

Speaking amidst claims police had lost control of the streets — with complaints Hyde residents were being “held to ransom” by gangs of thugs — the police chief said that officers were prioritising “murders, serious sexual offences and terrorism” over investigating less serious crimes.

So-called hate crime, however, is taken very seriously by GMP, which says it takes a “victim-centred” approach to investigations and regularly holds awareness campaigns dedicated to driving up the number of reports.


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