Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

14 quizzed in school abuse probe

Greater Manchester Police have questioned 14 people about abuse allegations at Knowl View residential school
Greater Manchester Police have questioned 14 people about abuse allegations at Knowl View residential school

Fourteen suspects have been questioned as part of a fresh investigation into alleged child abuse at a residential school where Sir Cyril Smith is accused of targeting young boys.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed that the men, aged between 35 and 66, were interviewed under caution over a range of allegations including physical and sexual abuse at Knowl View School in Rochdale between 1969 and 1990.

The claims relate to alleged abuse of pupils by adults at the residential school, but also among the boys themselves.

Eighteen more victims have come forward following publicity about the alleged abuse at the school.

Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson said: "The investigation into abuse at Knowl View School continues and, since the start of the inquiry, further victims have come forward.

"These are serious allegations made against both staff and pupils at the school and are being thoroughly investigated.

"We are currently working through the allegations and as a result 14 people so far have been interviewed under caution.

"Greater Manchester Police takes allegations of abuse very seriously and continues to do so and if anyone has been a victim of abuse, we ask them to contact us."

Earlier this month an independent review of a possible cover-up of abuse at the care home was halted after GMP Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said a ''wider investigation'' was needed into alleged corruption.

The Home Office is now deciding who should lead the possible criminal investigation.

Rochdale Labour MP Simon Danczuk claimed in a recently published book that Smith, the town's former Liberal Democrat MP, raped a number of young boys at the residential school.

Police, spies and politicians helped to hide the historical child abuse carried out by Smith, according to Mr Danczuk's book, Smile For The Camera: The Double Life Of Cyril Smith.

The 29-stone politician was left free to abuse children as young as eight despite 144 complaints by victims, Mr Danczuk and co-author Matthew Baker said.

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