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Kids Company charity faces police investigation

Children's charity Kids Company is being investigated by police officers specialising in sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse.

Scotland Yard said it was looking into "a number of allegations of crime" involving the charity, whose founder this month stepped down as chief executive following concerns about its management.

Kids Company said it was cooperating with police to assist the investigation into what it understands are "historical but serious allegations".

The investigation is being led by officers from the Complex Case Team of the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, Scotland Yard said.

The charity added: "Kids Company's first priority is the safety and security of all the children, young people and adults we support and protect.

"The organisation operates robust policies and procedures that ensure all Kids Company's clients are protected and that staff work safely with clients at all times. Kids Company's policies and procedures are externally reviewed regularly by expert consultants and are governed by a risk sub-committee comprised of senior clinicians and representatives from the board of trustees.

"All allegations of criminal behaviour regarding Kids Company employees and clients are immediately reported to the police.

"The safety, security and well-being of the children, young people and adults we support is our first priority and it is this imperative that will guide our response to the allegations once further information has been disclosed by the police."

Earlier this month Kids Company said its founder Camila Batmanghelidjh was moving to a new role within the charity as part of a shake-up which the organisation said was prompted by "unprecedented financial strain".

A shake-up had been pushed for by the Government, which was reported to have threatened to withhold a £3 million grant unless changes were made.

Anyone with information has been asked to contact police on 0208 217 6538, or the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.

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