Greater Manchester Police, which has assumed the investigation into allegations of sexual abuse made against the dead Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith has said: "The Force is now publicly acknowledging that young boys were victims of physical and sexual abuse committed by Smith."
Any fresh abuse allegations against Sir Cyril Smith "will be thoroughly investigated," Greater Manchester Police said.
There has been a lot of speculation in the media about whether Greater Manchester Police investigated allegations of sexual abuse involving the late Sir Cyril Smith in the 1980s and 1990s.
We are examining our records to see what involvement Greater Manchester Police may have had. However, we need to be clear that some of these allegations are up to 30-years-old and predate our computerised records, so it will take some time to establish what, if any, the Force's involvement was.
What I can say with clarity is that any fresh complaints that are made will be thoroughly investigated and we will continue to work with our colleagues at Lancashire Police to provide support to any victims who come forward.
– Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood
Potential victims with a complaint after 1974 are urged to go to their nearest police station to report it, or call the force on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Greater Manchester Police will investigate any allegations of sexual abuse involving the former Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith from 1974 onwards, the force said.
It was confirmed that Lancashire Police would investigate any allegations of abuse before that date.
Following discussions between the Force and our colleagues at Lancashire Police, it has been agreed that Greater Manchester Police will now investigate any allegations of sexual abuse involving the late Sir Cyril Smith that happened from 1974 onwards.
We have taken this step to clear up any confusion that may have existed within the communities of Rochdale, and among the wider public, as to which Force is looking into the allegations.
The geographical boundaries were redrawn in 1974. Previously Rochdale was a part of Lancashire Police, but post-1974 it became part of Greater Manchester Police. Therefore, to make it explicitly clear, Greater Manchester Police will now investigate any reports of abuse that happened after 1974, and any abuse that happened before that date will be investigated by Lancashire Police.
He said today, "Following my comments in the House about Cyril Smith's abuse of boys, I understand the Crown Prosecution Service has now located investigation files against Mr Smith from the 1960s".
"Can the Home Secretary now look at whether it's true the Director of Public Prosecutions at the time received a second opinion recommending Smith be prosecuted; why he concluded it was not in the public interest".
"What role, if any the Security Service played; and how the Government now intends getting to the bottom of what several former police officers are now referring to as 'a cover-up'?", Mr Danczuk added.
Labour MP Simon Danczuk told the House of Commons:
We need to make be sure that this type of investigation takes place now and that those victims get a chance to have their voices heard.
As new victims of abuse in Rochdale come forward to speak of what happened in Cambridge House, Greater Manchester Police should consider re-opening this case and I would call upon the minister to do what all in his powers to bring police files from previous investigations into Smith to light.