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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale Investigation Report

Operation Clifton

66. The focus of Operation Clifton was to examine whether there had been action or inaction by GMP or Rochdale Council in relation to the investigation of child sexual abuse at Knowl View School, and whether any action or inaction revealed cover-up, corruption or other criminality such as misconduct in public office. The investigation was not concerned with broader issues such as whether child protection standards had been met at the time.[1] A Professional Standards investigation was carried out alongside Operation Clifton and was closely linked to it. The Professional Standards investigation was ultimately concerned with the professional performance of specific police officers (Chief Superintendent Houghton, Detective Superintendent Henderson and Detective Sergeant Sterndale) and the role that they played in responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.[2]

67. Ultimately, Operation Clifton did not identify any criminality that would permit it to seek to charge any individual. No individual was cautioned because there was insufficient evidence on which investigating officers could form a belief that any individual had committed a criminal offence. The Senior Investigating Officer sought (and attached some importance to) the provision of interim investigative advice from the Crown Prosecution Service because it permitted some independent scrutiny of the investigation prior to its conclusion.[3]

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