Monday, 28 April 2014

GMP Chief Stonewalls at Press Conference

AT the press conference today in Rochdale Town Hall, Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), managed to block questions about the details of the progress in the police force's investigation into sexual abuse and the late Sir Cyril Smith.  On the platform with Colin Lambert, leader of Rochdale MBC, he made it clear that they had both been prompted into making new efforts owing to recent revelations in a book by a local MP and the consequent increased media interest.

Sir Peter said that because of the book they will now be looking into the possibility of a cover-up, and GMP will be liaising with the new QC, Neil Garnham appointed by Rochdale Council.  And yet, though he said the wider review would lead to the investigation of new suspects and that new witnesses would be identified; under heavy questioning from journalists he suggested there were 11 suspects that the GMP had in its focus, but no arrests are taking place as yet. 

He couldn't go into why it has taken so long for the police to get going on this case; only that the culture has changed.  After all, it was pointed out, hadn't the Rochdale Council commissioned an enquiry into the scandal at Knowl View residential school for boys as long ago as 1992 - 22 years ago - and to what result? 

Well, there are many reasons for the delay!  There are many difficulties with these kind of investigations with victims of sexual abuse, there is the problem of getting the evidence and then getting corroboration, and so forth.  But, Sir Peter assured us that the police are determined to do a full investigation to see if there is anything further that can be done.  He appealed, yet again, for any new victims to come forward. 

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