Sir Cyril Smith and the missed chances.

Police have today revealed that they believe that former Liberal Democrats MP Sir Cyril Smith was a "predatory paedophile."

As revealed on tbg. as the news broke last night, the Crown Prosecution Service said that Sir Cyril would have ended up in the dock if evidence was presented today.

Yet today we know that Sir Cyril escaped prosecution despite the fact that police had compiled an 80 Page dossier of evidence in which the former Rochdale MP was accused of molesting at least eight boys.

A total of twelve men have now come forward claiming to have suffered abuse at the hands of the former MP.

In a statement released last night shortly after the Crown Prosecution Service Statement, Steve Heywood, the Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police said:

"This has been a very complex inquiry and I hope people understand why it has taken some time before we were in a position to comment publicly."

"It was very important that we examined all our records very carefully so we could be certain what involvement we had in investigating allegations against such a high profile figure."

"However, we are now in a position to say that, on three seperate occasions, files were passed to first the DPP and then the CPS containing details of abuse committed by Smith, but on each occasion no prosecution was pursued."

"Having now reviewed those decisions, we believe that if the same evidence was presented to the CPS today, there is a very realistic prospect Smith would have been charged with a number of indecent assaults, and that the case would have been brought to trial."