More Victims Come Forward Regarding Knowl View School And Cyril Smith

Police Provide Update On Investigations Into Abuse

16.09.2014

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have confirmed that more than 20 victims of historical child abuse at Knowl View School in Rochdale have come forward since the force launched investigations into the site.

It has been revealed that 24 victims have come forward in relation to problems at the residential school for boys from 1969 to the school’s closure in 1995, with the complaints focusing on abuse by adults on pupils and also between pupils.

GMP has also outlined that, in separate investigations, 20 victims have made complaints regarding abuse by former MP Cyril Smith in Rochdale between 1960 and 1987.

Offences range from sexual assault to rape and are alleged to have taken place at Knowl View and other locations in Rochdale.

The force also confirmed it has launched its own inquiry into whether offences were committed in terms of how previous reports of abuse were handled or allegedly covered up.

Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson from GMP’s Serious Crime Division, said: “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.”

Expert Opinion
Work by the GMP in relation to the very serious concerns raised regarding abuse across a great number of years has led to many victims coming forward, and the primary aim at present must be to ensure all of those affected are given any support they need in relation to the psychological trauma they have endured.

"The recent high-profile cases related to abuse have put the issue in the spotlight like never before and have given many people affected by such problems greater confidence that their voices will be heard if they come forward.

"It will have been incredibly difficult for victims to take that step many years down the line, often meaning they relive their ordeals from many years ago. This should not be forgotten as investigations continue.

"Every effort must be made to determine what went wrong in the past and what can be done to ensure such terrible crimes can be prevented in the future."
Tracey Storey, Partner