MANCHESTER POLICE HAVE said they are to investigate any allegations of sexual abuse involving the late Sir Cyril Smith, former Liberal Democrat MP.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said today:
Following discussions between the Force and our colleagues at Lancashire Police, it has been agreed that Greater Manchester Police will now investigate any allegations of sexual abuse involving the late Sir Cyril Smith that happened from 1974 onwards.
We have taken this step to clear up any confusion that may have existed within the communities of Rochdale, and among the wider public, as to which Force is looking into the allegations.
Due to the changing of geographical boundaries in 1974, Greater Manchester Police will now investigate any reports of abuse that happened after 1974, and any abuse that happened before that date will be investigated by Lancashire Police.
“I would therefore ask that if anyone does want to make a complaint about abuse that occurred after 1974, that they go to their nearest police station to report it, or call us on 101, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they wish to remain anonymous,” he said. “I can assure you that what you say will be treated in the strictest of confidence and with sensitivity.”
Chief Constable Heywood noted that there has been a lot of speculation in the media about whether Greater Manchester Police investigated allegations of sexual abuse involving the late Sir Cyril Smith in the 1980s and 1990s.
We are examining our records to see what involvement Greater Manchester Police may have had. However, we need to be clear that some of these allegations are up to 30-years-old and predate our computerised records, so it will take some time to establish what, if any, the Force’s involvement was.
The Guardian reports that Smith faced rumours of abuse throughout his career.