Rochdale Council has apologised for the child abuse that has taken place in the Borough which goes back almost fifty years and took place mainly at two institutions, Cambridge House and Knowl View School.

The abuse at Cambridge House dates back to the 1960’s with former MP Cyril Smith implicated in the events while that at Knowl View school dates back to the 1990’s.

People have long called for the council to acknowledge the abuse of children that went on over the period.

Earlier this year no evidence of a cover-up or corruption was found in an investigation into historical child sex abuse in the Borough after an inquiry by Greater Manchester Police who were looking into allegations of a criminal cover-up at Knowl View School  between 1969 and 1995 and it was announced that no criminal charges would be brought as part of the investigation, which was requested by the Home Office in 2014.

However it was announced that an Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse will review the findings.

Steve Rumbelow, chief executive of the Council has made the following statement:

“The events that took place at Cambridge House and Knowl View and other establishments in Rochdale have cast a long shadow over the town for many years and have undoubtedly caused pain to many people.

“The council acknowledges that there were significant failings, both in the way that Knowl View School was managed, and in the council’s response to concerns about sexual abuse within and outside the school.

“That was, frankly, unforgivable. On behalf of Rochdale Borough Council, I would like to apologise sincerely to anyone who was failed by the council during those years.

“We cannot turn the clock back. But as the current chief executive of the council, working with the director of children’s services and partner agencies such as the police, and through the Rochdale Safeguarding Children’s Board, I can make sure that we continue do our level best to safeguard our children and young people now and in the future.

“The council is doing everything it can to support and work with the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in its task and I hope that it can help us fully understand what happened in Rochdale all those years ago.”


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