DEVON, England - A nursery school has been closed after a male worker was arrested on suspicion of sex offences against some of the children.

Police said today that they had contacted around 100 families about the alleged abuse at the Jack and Jill nursery in Torquay, Devon.

Detectives said a male worker, thought to be a teenager, was arrested on suspicion of sex offences. He has been released on bail while the investigations continue and has moved away from the area after being sacked by the nursery.

Sources believe the number of victims is around a dozen. Police stressed that this investigation did not involve the taking or distributing of any images.

After the police inquiry was launched, police uncovered a ‘number of concerns around safeguarding matters’ and Ofsted has suspended the nursery’s licence. The Jack and Jill nursery is privately-owned and situated in a quiet residential area of Torquay called Shiphay.

The family-run nursery catered for babies and children aged two to five. It cared for up to 52 children for 51 weeks of the year. Acting Det Chief Insp James Stock, of Devon and Cornwall police, revealed that on July 29th 2019 they received an allegation of sexual assault at the nursery.

Later the same day a male employee was arrested and questioned. He was bailed with conditions to stay away from the nursery. DCI Stock said: ‘This person has since moved out of the force area whilst the investigation continues.

‘As part of this over 250 hours of CCTV from within Jack and Jill Childcare have been reviewed. ‘As a result of CCTV enquiries, 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. ‘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.

‘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. ‘Following further investigations a number of concerns around safeguarding matters were raised by police to partner agencies.

‘Ofsted subsequently made the decision to suspend the licence of the nursery whilst they further investigate those concerns.’(FA)