Cyril Smith abuse school claims: Seven allege abuse

Sir Cyril Smith
Image caption Sir Cyril Smith died in 2010 aged 82

Seven former pupils at a residential school linked to the late Sir Cyril Smith have alleged they were sexually and physically abused by "at least 11" people, police have confirmed.

The allegations, which date from the 1970s onwards, relate to Knowl View School in Rochdale where the Liberal Democrat MP was chairman of governors.

Police said four more people had come forward but could not confirm if any complaints related to the politician.

The school closed down in 1992.

Independent review

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said it could not give the exact number of suspects, as not all victims knew the full names of their abusers, but it was investigating "at least 11".

The force said it was working to establish if any of the potential suspects are now deceased.

Allegations emerged in 2012 that the MP abused boys at the council-run Knowl View school for vulnerable boys.

Det Insp Caroline Ward said: "Following publicity surrounding Sir Cyril Smith, seven people came forward to report physical and sexual abuse which occurred at Knowl View from the 1970s onwards.

"Those allegations relate to physical and sexual abuse that took place between pupils and adults at the school."

She said GMP was working closely with Rochdale Council to "build up a picture of the regime" at Knowl View.

An independent review into the way it was run is due to report to Rochdale Council next month.

Sir Cyril, who died in 2010 aged 82, has also been accused of abusing eight youngsters at Cambridge Hostel, also in Rochdale.

In 2012, GMP said the MP was a sex abuser of boys in the late 1960s.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) also said he should have been charged with sex crimes 40 years ago.

It said although he faced no action following police inquiries in 1970 and the 1990s, procedural changes meant a prosecution would have been pursued today.

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