Knowl View abuse investigation: No evidence of cover-up

Knowl View in the 1990s
Image caption No criminal charges will brought as part of the investigation into claims of a cover-up Knowl View

No evidence of a cover-up or corruption has been found in an investigation into historical child sex abuse at a former boys' school.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has been looking into allegations of a criminal cover-up at Knowl View School in Rochdale between 1969 and 1995.

No criminal charges will brought as part of the investigation, which was requested by the Home Office in 2014.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse will review the findings.

The inquiry is to examine claims made against local authorities, religious organisations, the armed forces and public and private institutions - as well as people in the public eye.

Image copyright PA
Image caption GMP launched the investigation named Operation Clifton in July 2014

GMP questioned several people as part of the QC-led inquiry, on behalf of Rochdale Council, to uncover potential criminal offences.

Assistant Chief Constable Debbie Ford said: "Three independent advisory group members also oversaw the investigation to provide external scrutiny and challenge.

"The investigation concluded that there was no evidence of corruption or attempts to cover up the allegations to protect offenders or organisations' reputation."

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jim Battle said: "I support the Chief Constable in submitting the findings into the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, who will now have the duty and responsibility of reviewing them.

"I urge this to be done as quickly as possible so that the findings can be made public."

Gail Hopper, director of children's services at Rochdale Borough Council, said: "The council works closely with Greater Manchester Police and other agencies to address historic and current child sexual abuse cases and we will continue to help bring prosecutions wherever we can."

Image caption Former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith a governor at Knowl View

Following a separate GMP investigation into reports of physical and sexual abuse at Knowl View from 1969 until it closed in 1995, prosecutors concluded in October that no-one would face prosecution.

GMP had previously investigated allegations of child abuse at the school and other care homes across Greater Manchester.

Launched in 1998, it lasted for six years before it led to the convictions of seven people.

In September, it was revealed no charges will be brought after a long-running investigation into claims former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith, who died aged 82 in 2010, abused boys.

He acted as a governor for several schools in Rochdale, including Knowl View, and when he was a town councillor was active on many committees involving youth activities.

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