Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Fire service sex abuse claims probe

Essex Police are investigating allegations of historic sex abuse within Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Detectives have launched an investigation into allegations of historic sex abuse within a fire service.

Bosses at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service were alerted to the claims, which are believed to be linked to activities at fire stations in the county during the 1980s, and have now referred the matter to police.

Neither the fire service nor Essex Police have confirmed the nature of the investigation but it is understood that the allegations are of a sexual nature, possibly linked to initiation ceremonies.

A spokesman for the fire service said: "During an internal investigation, senior managers were made aware of allegations of potential criminal activity within the service. These matters were alleged to have happened some time ago but, due to their serious nature and following clear legal advice, managers referred the matter to Essex Police.

"Since then, the service has been co-operating fully with the police inquiry and has advised staff to do the same. While this investigation continues, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."

Essex Police confirmed that a "number of people" have been spoken to by officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate but so far no arrests have been made.

Anyone who may have information which could help in the inquiry should contact the Harlow Major Crime Team on 01279 621802.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz