Police deny dropping Cyril Smith investigation
Date published: 13 May 2013
Following a news report that claimed Greater Manchester Police have have dropped their investigation into sexual abuse of boys by Cyril Smith, Detective Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle of GMP has issued a denial.
DCS Doyle said: "To say that we have abandoned our investigation into allegations concerning the late Sir Cyril Smith is misleading and inaccurate.
"From the outset, we have always stressed that if anybody wished to come forward and make a complaint, GMP would record this to recognise the abuse that victim has suffered.
"We have publicly said just how important it is for victims that any such abuse is recognised because as Sir Cyril Smith is deceased, no criminal prosecution can be brought against him.
"Since last year, we have only had a very small number of people come forward to report any abuse by Sir Cyril Smith, and we have had no new reports since then.
"We are still actively investigating the incidents reported to us."
Investigative news organisation 'Exaro' made the claim the investigation had been dropped and added: "The move by Greater Manchester Police is bound to trigger accusations by victims of the ex-MP for Rochdale of an establishment cover up. It contratst with Scotland Yard's decision to carry out a comprehensive investigation into Jimmy Savile, the ex BBC star and paedophile."
Nick Fielding, the reporter responsible for the Exaro story that GMP has dropped their inquiry into Cyril Smith, has contacted Rochdale Online and has the following to say:
"Let me reiterate that as far as one can see there is no ongoing police inquiry into allegations that the deceased MP was involved in sexual abuse of young boys. This was confirmed to me by GMP press officer Stefan Jarmolowicz, to whom I spoke on at least three occasions and questioned on this subject in detail. This is what he told me: "I don't think there is an inquiry. We have interviewed a number of people in relation to claims of sexual abuse. There is no plan to reopen it (the inquiry)".
Even today, in the statement issued today by GMP, DSC Mary Doyle can only say that: "From the outset, we have always stressed that if anybody wished to come forward and make a complaint, GMP would record this to recognise the abuse that victims has (sic) suffered. We have publicly said just how important it is for victims that any such abuse is recognised because as Sir Cyril Smith is deceased, no criminal prosecution can be brought against him."
Of course, GMP will act if someone comes forward to make a complaint, but this is very different from the statements made on 27 November last year when ACC Steve Heywood first publicly stated that the force was running an inquiry into Smith ("Greater Manchester Police has now assumed overall command of the investigation into allegations of sexual abuse made against the late Sir Cyril Smith."). In fact, despite similarities with the case of Jimmy Savile - who was the subject of a joint Metropolitan Police/NSPCC inquiry - GMP refused the services of the NSPCC, who offered to set up a dedicated phone line in Manchester to take calls from the public.
Having failed to prosecute Smith on at least three occasions, GMP should not be surprised that few people have come forward to speak to police about allegations of sexual abuse.
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