Belfast Telegraph

Arrests in Fermanagh historical child sex abuse probe

Police are investigating a series of claims in the Fermanagh area. Stock pic
Police are investigating a series of claims in the Fermanagh area. Stock pic

Police have made a number of arrests in connection with their investigation into a string of claims of historical child sex abuse in Co Fermanagh.

The Impartial Reporter newspaper has covered stories of a number of people over recent months who have claimed they were abused by figures in the community stretching back decades.

Police have established a special team of detectives to investigate the claims and called on any victim to contact its officers.

A PSNI spokesman said they could not go into detail on the nature of the arrests or those people involved as their investigation remained "live and ongoing".

"I want to give reassurance to the both victims and the local community that we are actively working on the reports made to us in recent months," he added.

"Public Protection detectives continue to thoroughly investigate all of the reports made to us and are focused on gathering all relevant evidence.

"It is welcomed that victims have felt confident to come forward over recent months and speak to us about their experiences. Their wellbeing is first and foremost our priority and our working relationships with partner agencies, including both local and regional support services, have been essential in ensuring that victims receive the help and support that they need."

The Impartial Reporter's deputy editor Rodney Edwards has covered claims of abuse with victims alleging the perpetrators were prominent figures in the community.

In this week's edition of the paper it covers claims made by a woman who said she was abused by an RUC officer when she was 14.

Over 70 people have approached the paper with their stories.

The PSNI spokesman continued: "We are very aware of recent media coverage and ongoing commentary and speculation in the Fermanagh area and we would continue to reach out to victims, as we have done in all our previous appeals, to encourage anyone with information that may not have been disclosed to police already, to please make that information available to us.

"We treat every allegation of sexual abuse seriously and we remain absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our investigations are thorough, gathering all relevant information, and that victims are treated with the utmost sensitivity.

"We would urge anyone with any information about historical sexual abuse to come forward and contact police and seek professional support through our specialist detectives or through one of the dedicated support services specially trained to support victims.

"You do not have to come to a police station to make a report, detectives can arrange to meet you at a time and place that best suits you."

Police can be contacted on 101 or through a dedicated email address at historicalabuse@psni.pnn.police.uk.

Support services are also available through:

The 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Abuse Helpline - 0808 802 1414

Nexus NI – Belfast 02890 326803 / Enniskillen 02866 320046 http://nexusni.org/

The Rowan Centre free phone helpline - 0800 389 4424 / www.therowan.net

Victim Support NI – Belfast 02890 243133 / Foyle 02871 370086

Men’s Advisory Project – 02890 241929 / Foyle 02871 160001

Other local support services are as follows:

The Arc Living Centre – 02868 628741

The Aisling Centre – 02886 325811

The Oak Healthy Living Centre – 02867 723843

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