Manchester

Knowl View: '40 victims' in Rochdale school abuse probe

Knowl View School
Image caption The men allege they were abused at Knowl View school between 1960 and 1987

Police investigating historical child abuse in Rochdale say more than 40 men have said they were victims of the former MP Cyril Smith or other men.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said 24 men have alleged they were sexually and physically abused at Knowl View school in Rochdale between 1960 and 1987.

Twenty of those have said they were abused by Smith, who died in 2010.

At least one victim has told detectives he was raped by the man who was Liberal MP for Rochdale from 1972 to 1992.

Police said they had interviewed 21 men aged between 35 and 80 under caution for a variety of offences but there were still a number of other suspects to be traced and interviewed.

A separate investigation is focusing on Smith, who is alleged to have preyed on youngsters both at Knowl View, where five complainants have come forward, and another school in Rochdale for "difficult children", Cambridge House, from where 10 complainants have spoken to police.

Another five have said they were abused by Smith at various other locations, all in the Greater Manchester area.

Police are now discussing with lawyers the charges Smith would have faced if he was still alive, to give "closure and clarity" to victims.

Smith was the subject of allegations and investigations over decades during his career, first as a prominent local councillor in Rochdale and later as the town's Liberal MP.

He was never prosecuted.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cyril Smith was MP from 1972 to 1992

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