East Lancs politician calls for investigation into alleged Sir Cyril Smith cover up

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Police pledge an investigation into alleged Sir Cyril Smith cover-up Police pledge an investigation into alleged Sir Cyril Smith cover-up

A CAMPAIGNING politician from East Lancashire has questioned why a new police probe into a school linked to the late Sir Cyril Smith is not focusing on arresting suspected abusers.

Police chiefs have said they will investigate allegations of a cover-up which possibly led to the former Liberal MP for Rochdale evading prosecution on several occasions.

But Simon Danczuk, who is originally from Hapton, has voiced concerns that police resources should be concentrated on making arrests in relation to alleged sexual abuse at the former Knowl View School in Rochdale.

His book on Smith — Smile For The Camera — has claimed a wide-ranging conspiracy kept the 29-stone politician out of the courts despite at least three police investigations Ex-Rossendale mayor Alan Neal has also detailed how Sir Cyril, who died in 2010, had physically assaulted him at another establishment, Cambridge House, in the 1960s, knocking out some of his teeth.

Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester, told a news conference yesterday that his officers would be ‘carrying out a review into those allegations and into other matters of public debate around that book to see whether that justifies a criminal investigation into allegations of (a) cover-up.’ Council bosses in Rochdale also pledged that an ongoing review into abuse at Knowl View would be widened to cover Cambridge House and the operation of other similar locations in the 1960s.

Rochdale’s Labour MP Simon Danczuk told Radio Four’s Today programme that victims would argue that police should be concentrating their efforts on prosecuting their abusers, noting that no arrests had yet been made.

He also said the council should be agreeing compensation packages for abuse victims.

He said: “The police would be the first to argue that they have limited resources in terms of prioritising what action they need to take.

“Surely they should concentrate on arresting the abusers in this case rather than uncovering what was the cover-up.

“I agree that it is important to get to the bottom of that but I don’t think the police are getting their priorities right.”

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