by Les May
Last night, as predicted Simon Danczuk didn't deliver his evidence of historic child abuse to the meeting of the Greater Manchester Police Federation at the Renaissance Hotel as requested by Chief Inspector Ian Hanson chairman of the Joint Branch Board of the GMP Police Federation. Instead Tony Lloyd, the Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner, turned up to explain to the serving police officers present what was going on as the disgraced Rochdale MP, Simon Danczuk, indulges himself in attacking the police for failing to dig-up enough evidence to satisfy the Crown Prosecution Service. Below Les May questions Simon Danczuk's tactics in attacking the police. (Editor)
THE response by Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk to Chief Inspector Hanson’s challenge to him
'.... I will publicly call him out to deliver the firm evidence that he bases his criticism of GMP on to my office by 12 noon on Monday - and I will personally deliver it to the IPCC.’
at https://twitter.com/hashtag/knowlView?src=hash and at http://northernvoicesmag.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/danczuk-ducks-out-of-debate.html was entirely predictable.
He is trying to use the same tactic which was so successful when he appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee in July 2014, when instead of being questioned about his book ‘Smile for the Camera’ he managed to get the spotlight shifted onto Leon Brittan. Now he wants to shift the spotlight from his inability to provide the evidence asked for, onto debating what he calls the ‘poor policing around Rochdale’.
This is just a smoke screen to hide the fact that he does not have any evidence to back up his claims about Knowl View. He knows perfectly well that Chief Inspector Hanson is speaking for the GMP members of the Police Federation who he feels have been very unfairly criticised by Danczuk. Chief Inspector Hanson is not, and does not represent himself as, speaking for GMP.
To put it bluntly Danczuk’s claims:
‘Everyone knows that child abuse took place on a frightening scale at Knowl View’ and ‘We've seen shocking reports documenting this...’ are bunkum. ‘Everyone knows...’, isn’t evidence and Danczuk continually repeating it does not make it evidence.
And no, we have not seen ‘shocking reports’ because the two reports which might throw some light on what was happening at Knowl View, the 1991 report of Philip Shepherd and the 1992 report of Valerie Mellor, have not been published by Rochdale Council and it shows no inclination to let us see them for ourselves.
I have seen a copy of the Shepherd report and whilst it is certainly ‘shocking’, what it refers to is sexual activity between the boys at the school and to some boys who were visited Rochdale town centre accompanied by care staff, ‘cottaging’ at the Smith Street toilets.
In other words what it reveals is poor supervision by some care staff. Whether the responsibility for this being allowed to happen should lie with the care staff involved. the headteacher, the governors or the Director of Education is a subject for discussion after the reports have been published in full.
As to what Danczuk means by his comment, ‘...ensure the public understand how the police reach decisions regarding serious crimes like child abuse’, I do not understand unless he is trying to blame Chief Inspector Hanson’s colleagues for the decision that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute anyone, which was in fact taken by the CPS.
I hope that Chief Inspector Hanson and his GMP colleagues in the Police Federation will keep the pressure on Danczuk to produce the ‘very specific information that backs up his comments’, not let him shift the debate onto things which suit his agenda of getting himself back in the limelight and will publicise as widely as possible his inability or unwillingness to ‘put his money where his mouth is.
If Danczuk wants to do something useful he could try putting pressure on his friends in Rochdale Council to publish the Shepherd and Mellor reports. Until these have been published he should refrain from making any more inflammatory comments about Knowl View.