A Police Enquiry investigation into historical child sex abuse at a former Rochdale boys’ school has found no evidence of either a cover up or any corruption.

The investigation, ordered by the Home Office back in 2014, was asked to look into the allegation at Knowl View School between 1969 and 1995.

The council-run residential school for boys from dysfunctional backgrounds closed in 1992 but a number of allegations have had surfaced

Assistant Chief Constable Debbie Ford said: “We launched Operation Clifton in July 2014 in response to a request by the Home Office to investigate allegations of a criminal cover up of non-recent sexual abuse at Knowl View School.

“GMP was asked to carry out this huge undertaking after a QC-led inquiry, on behalf of Rochdale Council, uncovered potential criminal offences.

“GMP undertook a two year investigation and committed a team of 15 staff led by a dedicated Senior Investigating Officer. Three independent advisory group members also oversaw the investigation to provide external scrutiny and challenge.

“Operation Clifton was a lengthy and detailed investigation which has been undertaken by dedicated staff who collated and examined a large volume of information to ensure that the right conclusions could be drawn. Having undertaken this work I can confirm that there will be no criminal charges brought under Operation Clifton.

“Furthermore the investigation concluded that there was no evidence of corruption or attempts to cover up the allegations to protect offenders or organisations’ reputation.

“I am grateful for the commitment and effort of the team involved.

“The documentation and findings of Operation Clifton have been submitted to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) who will now review them over the coming months.”


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