Nursery worker arrested over multiple child sex abuse allegations as police contact 100 families

Police say several children are thought to have been abused at Jack and Jill Childcare in Torquay

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Tuesday 05 November 2019 13:06
Devon and Cornwall police launch investigation into sexual offences at nursery

A childcare worker has been arrested over allegations that children were sexually abused at a nursery in Devon.

Police have contacted more than 100 families whose children attended Jack and Jill Childcare in Torquay, although around a dozen are believed to have been directly affected.

Devon and Cornwall Police said it received allegations of sexual assault on 29 July and arrested a male suspect in his teens.

Acting Det Ch Insp James Stock said officers had reviewed more than 250 hours of footage from the nursery.

“As a result of CCTV enquires, a number of children aged two and over have been identified as potential victims of contact offences,” he added.

“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.”

Police said all parents and guardians whose children attended Jack and Jill Childcare in the period under investigation had now been contacted.

Specialist public protection officers and social services have visited the homes of children who may be victims and are receiving support, investigators said.

The suspect has been released on bail until later this month under conditions banning him from entering the area around the nursery.

A/Det Ch Insp Stock said: “I can provide reassurance that the individual concerned was immediately removed from the setting and given strict bail conditions as part of their release from custody. They have since been moved out of the force area whilst the investigation continues.”

Police, the local council, NHS and Ofsted are involved in the ongoing investigation, which includes wider concerns over safeguarding at the nursery.

Ofsted has suspended Jack and Jill Childcare’s licence while the work continues.

Nancy Meehan, deputy 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.”

A helpline has been set up by the Torbay Safeguarding Children’s Partnership, on 01803 208820.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in