Police Re-open Knowl View School Abuse Case


Knowl School in Rochdale was a residential school for pupils with behavioural difficulties. The school was shut down in 1994 after a dossier detailing a long history of abuse of pupils was handed to the police. Prior investigations in the early 90’s did not come to fruition.

However, following the recent publicity of child abuse allegations at Knowl View School, Greater Manchester police have re-opened its investigations into child abuse occurring at the school, from as far back as the 1970’s.

A history of abuse

In the early 1990’s, a former head of care handed files to the police that detailed information of systematic abuse of Knowl View pupils.

The files revealed that at least a quarter of the 48 Knowl View pupils had been victims of horrific sexual abuse. Abuse was documented against boys as young as 8 years old.

The school was shut down in 1994 as it was discovered that a known sex offender was working in the school. The abuse is suspected to be a widespread and organised sexual abuse campaign by teachers and staff of the school.

Investigation into the abuse

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk asked police to re-examine the case after a number of victims from the 90’s came to him to raise concerns.

Investigations by Greater Manchester police have now been formally re-opened after two former pupils came forward and said they had been abused by staff in the school.

Three victims have come forward following publicity over a well-known public figure’s involvement in the abuse.

Police actively engaging with victims

Following the recent statement of former pupils of Knowl School, Greater Manchester police are urging other victims to come out and speak up about abuse suffered in the school.

Police say that the investigation is ‘alive and on-going’ and that they are building up a picture of the regime of abuse that took place in the school from the 1970s onwards.

Three alleged victims are believed to have been interviewed on video by Greater Manchester police. And although police understand the difficulty in victims reliving past events, they are assuring victims that their complaints will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.

A former pupil who came forward about his alleged abuse at Knowl School is glad that his allegations are being taken seriously after all this time. He said previous allegations ‘fell on deaf ears’ and made him and fellow victims ‘feel stupid’.

Investigations hope to lead to prosecutions

Police are actively involved in investigations with the hope of prosecuting abusers.

There are fears that abusers are still working in professions related to children and that they may have abused others.

Police are working on prosecuting individuals involved to prevent any future cases of abuse and to bring justice to Knowl School victims.

Helen Stanton, Associate at Simpson Millar has said, "For so long victims have felt ignored and overlooked. It is pleasing to see that in this case anyway the police are willing to revisit an old investigation and indeed widen it."

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