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Police contact over 100 families after ‘sexual assault of multiple children’ at nursery

Devon and Cornwall Police are investigating allegations of sexual assault of toddlers at the Jack and Jill nursery in Torquay


More than 100 families have been contacted by police following multiple allegations of sexual assault at a children’s nursery in Torquay.

Today police said families had been contacted by them about the alleged sexual assaults at the Jack and Jill nursery in Devon.

Detectives said a male worker – thought to be a teenager – has been arrested and bailed, and then moved away from the area.

CCTV taken from the nursery has been looked at and could play a vital part in the case.

Police first received information relating to the allegations at the nursery on July 29, 2019.

Later that day they arrested the suspect, who has been bailed until November 22.

More than a hundred families have been contacted following the allegations surrounding Jack and Jill Childcare in Torquay (file photo)

A multi-agency response involving Police, Local Authority, NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group and Ofsted was launched to investigate the allegation of sexual assault.

Acting Detective Chief Inspector James Stock, of the Public Protection Unit said: “Since the information was received in July, a police investigation has been ongoing.

“As part of this, over 250 hours of CCTV from within Jack and Jill Childcare have been reviewed.

“As a result of CCTV enquires, a number of children aged 2+ have been identified as potential victims of contact offences.

“We have now contacted all parents and guardians of children who attended Jack and Jill Childcare in relation to our investigation.”

Acting Detective Chief Inspector James Stock, of the Public Protection Unit

The chief inspector outlined what the force had done to support the alleged victims.

“Specialist officers from the Public Protection Unit and our colleagues from social services have visited the parents and guardians of those children we believe may be victims,” he said.

“They will continue to receive multi-agency support in the coming days, weeks and months.

“The contact appears to be limited to within the nursery setting and we do not believe that any other member of staff had knowledge of these matters.

“These appear to be the actions of a lone individual and the offences do not involve the taking or distributing of any images.”

DCI Stock stressed that the police were not investigating whether images or videos of the children were made.

He said: “It is not an investigation into images being recorded and distributed.

“We have to be really clear on that. The number of potential victims is much lower than 100.”

In the months since the arrest Ofsted has suspended the nursery’s licence while investigations are carried out.

The education standards body carried out an unannounced visit in August to check safeguarding “particularly with regards to allegations made against a member of staff”.

At that time Ofsted was satisfied that actions were taken.

It later carried out a second unannounced visit in October and found that Jack and Jill was not complying with welfare requirements and a legal notice was served requiring urgent changes.

Nancy Meehan, depurty director of Torbay children’s services, said: “We take safeguarding children incredibly seriously, and we are working closely with partners including the police in relation to this matter.

“We are providing support to the families, whatever is required at this difficult time.”

A helpline has been set up by the Partnership for anyone who may have concerns relating to this case.

This can be accessed on 01803 208820 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Source: The Mirror

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