UK & World News

  • 24 July 2014, 15:05

Police To Investigate Cyril Smith Cover-Up

Police have announced a criminal investigation into an alleged cover-up by officers and politicians of child abuse carried out by the late Sir Cyril Smith at a Rochdale school.

The 29-stone politician allegedly used his power and influence to abuse young boys at Knowl View School, however, despite police investigations, he was never prosecuted.

Now officers have said they will investigate whether police, spies and politicians helped to hide the abuse carried out by the Liberal Democrat politician, who died in 2010.

The investigation has been triggered by disclosures in a book written by Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, in which he details the rape of a number of boys at the residential school.

It raises questions of how the politician was apparently able to abuse children as young as eight despite 144 complaints by his victims.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Wiggett from Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said: "Following the publication of MP Simon Danzcuk's book 'Smile for the Camera', GMP conducted an assessment of the allegations contained within that book. 

"As a result of the assessment, GMP decided that a criminal investigation was required.

"The GMP investigation will now seek to identify whether any offences have been committed in the way that previous reports of abuse were handled or allegedly covered up."

He said the force had consulted with the Home Office in relation to the national inquiry into historical child abuse.

Mr Danczuk said: "I welcome the fact that GMP are taking what's in our book seriously. It is clear to me that crimes have been committed, though I hope the police will prioritise the arrests of abusers who are still alive over whether council officers covered this up.

"That is what the victims have told me is their priority. They want to see those who inflicted terrible abuse on innocent children brought to justice."

Fourteen suspects have been questioned as part the inquiry into Knowl View School, relating to alleged offences committed between 1969 and 1990.

Advertisement