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Celebrity Big Brother 2018: Who is Maggie Oliver? Former Rochdale grooming ring detective

CELEBRITY Big Brother 2018 has finally kicked off and is celebrating the “year of the woman”. Who is housemate Maggie Oliver?

CBB are celebrating 100 years since the Suffragette movement, which saw women win the right to vote.

For the occasion they are starting out with a female-only Big Brother house.

One of the women who entered the house on Tuesday, January 2 is Maggie Oliver.

*Click here to find out who the rest of the contestants are*

Here is everything you need to know.

Who is Maggie Oliver?

Maggie Oliver, from south Manchester, is a former Detective Constable who is best known for helping to expose the Rochdale grooming ring.

She won the confidence of the girls who had been abused by a number of men, who were subsequently jailed.

She managed to persuade many of the vulnerable and reluctant girls to testify against the paedophiles who had abused them.

Margaret used to work for Greater Manchester Police on a small team called Operation Augusta.


MAGGIE OLIVER: The CBB contestant is a former detective

The team was investigating allegations about the grooming of white girls in the northwest of England by Pakistani men in 2004.

The investigation found that 26 teenagers were thought to have had underage sex.

A list of 208 potential suspects were drawn up.

Maggie left work due to a family bereavement, and when she returned she found the inquiry had been put aside.

Later she joined Operation Span, which looked at a potential organised grooming gang in Rochdale, after an inquiry in 2008 failed.

Nine men were arrested following the investigation, which saw girls as young as 13 be tempted with free food and alcohol in exchange for sex.

The mum-of-four worked on the investigations of sexual abuse between 2004 and 2010.

Maggie later quit the force, claiming hundreds of alleged abuse cases had been ignored or mishandled by Greater Manchester Police.

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

They also admitted errors in the 2008-9 inquiry.

When Maggie found out that the Crown Prosecution Service had decided not to call one of the girls as witness, she “felt ashamed to be part of the process”.


ROCHDALE: Maggie helped expose the Rochdale grooming gang

“I hope change comes from this. I shouldn’t have had to leave my job to get this out in the public domain”

Maggie Oliver

Maggie became a central character in the BBC drama Three Girls, and was portrayed by actress Lesley Sharp.

The former Detective Constable – who helped develop the drama – appeared on Loose Women following the release.

She said: “I hope change comes from this. I shouldn’t have had to leave my job to get this out in the public domain.”

Some viewers of CBB have contested the fact that Maggie is appearing in the Celebrity version of the reality show.

One viewer said: “Maggie Oliver? A police officer? Oh God now they are just sending anyone in! Who's next, next Fireman Sam? Where're the celebs?”


QUIT: Maggie quit the force claiming alleged abuse cases had been ignored

Another said: “Who the hell is Maggie Oliver? Is she a has-been?”

On the other hand, other viewers were sympathetic.

One viewer tweeted: “Maggie Oliver isn’t a ‘celeb’ – she’s 100% total heroine.”

Rylan Clark-Neal, who presents the spin-off show Celebrity Big Brother’s Bit On The Side, has also defended the brave woman.

He tweeted: “And people saying #CBBMaggie isn’t a celebrity…. you’re right… she’s a HERO and we’re lucky to have her. Respect x.”