Updated: Friday, 16th November 2018 @ 3:41pm

Net tightens on Sir Cyril Smith paedophile ring: Police quiz 14 men over alleged abuse at Rochdale school

Net tightens on Sir Cyril Smith paedophile ring: Police quiz 14 men over alleged abuse at Rochdale school

| By Jessica Badger

Police have questioned 14 men as part of a new investigation into alleged child abuse at the Rochdale school where Sir Cyril Smith is accused of preying on boys.

The men, aged between 35 and 66, were interviewed under caution over allegations of abuse at Knowl View School between 1969 and 1990.

The claims relate to alleged physical and sexual abuse of pupils by adults at the residential school, but also among the boys themselves.

Since news of the abuse allegations was made public, eighteen more victims have come forward to give evidence to the police inquiry.

Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson said: "These are serious allegations made against both staff and pupils at the school and are being thoroughly investigated.

"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."

Smith, the MP for Rochdale from 1972 until 1992, has been the subject of multiple allegations of abuse that surfaced after his death in 2010, aged 82.

In 2012, the Crown Prosecution Service formally admitted Smith should have been charged with sexual abuse of boys during his lifetime.

The latest series of questioning marks the ever-widening reach of the investigation into alleged historical sex abuse and possible cover-ups.

Earlier this month, GMP’s Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy halted an independent review into a possible cover-up of the care home abuse, saying a ‘wider investigation’ was needed into the alleged corruption.

The Home Office is now deciding who should lead the possible criminal investigation.

Rochdale Labour MP Simon Danczuk claimed in a recently-published book that Smith, the town's former Liberal Democrat MP, raped a number of young boys at the residential school.

Mr Danczuk’s book, Smile for the Camera: The Double Life of Cyril Smith, claimed that police, spies and politicians helped to hide the historical child abuse carried out by Smith.

The 29-stone politician was left free to abuse children as young as eight despite 144 complaints by victims, Mr Danczuk and co-author Matthew Baker claimed.

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