Cops launch Devon paedophile probe

February 17, 2011 | by | 0 Comments

Police have launched a major investigation into an evil sex gang who are preying on teenage girls.

Cops launch Devon paedophile probe

Officers took the extraordinary step of writing to more than 16,000 parents of secondary school children in the Torbay area of Devon warning them to be ”vigilant”.

The inquiry – named Operation Mansfield – is believed to centre on a network of perverts who are sexually abusing and exploiting girls aged 12 to 15.

No arrests have yet been made and police are still seeking all the potential victims.

Those who have already been identified are currently being supported by multi-agency professionals including the police, Torbay Council’s children’s services, and the NHS.

Yesterday a spokesman for Devon and Cornwall police said: ”Officers are in the process of identifying potential victims and arranging to speak to them.

”The inquiry is at a very early stage and no arrests have been made.”

The letter, sent to parents of kids at 14 secondary schools, explained its purpose was to ”reassure, rather than alarm” and said there was no specific intelligence to suggest pupils were being targeted.

But it went on to explain that a ”complex child abuse investigation that is currently underway”.

It added that the ”investigation involves the sexual exploitation of a number of young people in Torbay, some of whom are in our Torbay schools”.

The letter pointed out no exploitation had occurred in any Torbay school, but addressed parents’ concerns about ‘this sort of thing is happening within our community’.

It added: ”Your continued vigilance in ensuring the safety of your child is never more important than at this crucial time.”

And it said: ”For the great majority of students, life will go on as usual.

”Let me assure you, the investigation involves a very small number of the total population of young people in Torbay.

”This means that most young people are not at risk of sexual exploitation.”

It also re-iterated that ”school remains a safe and caring haven for students where they are well protected from harm”.

And that: ”We have well-established educative programmes to equip students to avoid being drawn into risky situations’.

”As a committed and caring school we will continue to work closely with other agencies to extend care and support to anyone affected by the issues in this news story.

”Here in school we have plans in place to help and support our pupils following these very worrying events.”

Cops launch Devon paedophile probe

** Copy of the letter sent to over 16,00 parents in full **

I write this letter to reassure, not alarm you. In partnership with the Police, Children’s Services and the NHS, I need to inform you about a complex child abuse investigation that is currently underway in Torbay.

The investigation involves the sexual exploitation of a number of young people in Torbay, some of whom are in our Torbay schools.

None of this exploitation has occurred in any Torbay school, but I am informing you about the investigation because I recognise that there will be real concern that this sort of thing is happening within our community.

The investigation does involve a number of young people and those young people are being actively supported by their school, the Police, Children’s Services and the NHS. Equally, there is a lot of work underway in investigating the abuse and applying the full force of the law to those who have caused it.

Today, Torbay is a safer community because of the action the Police, Children’s Services, the NHS and others are taking and I write this letter also to raise your awareness of the potential dangers that young people may experience in our community. Your continued vigilance in ensuring the safety of your child is never more important than at this crucial time.

For the great majority of students, life will go on as usual. Let me assure you, the investigation involves a very small number of the total population of young people in Torbay. This means that most young people are not at risk of sexual exploitation. Our school remains a safe and caring haven for students where they are well protected from harm. We have well-established educative programmes to equip students to avoid being drawn into risky situations.

As a committed and caring school we will continue to work closely with other agencies to extend care and support to anyone affected by the issues in this news story. Here in school we have plans in place to help and support our pupils following these very worrying events.

I recognise that you may well have queries or concerns as a result of this letter. Whilst the school is always happy to answer your questions and offer you support, it may be helpful to know the details of the Police helpline. These are as follows: 0845 2777 444 (24hour, please quote “Operation Mansfield”)

Finally, may I assure you that this school will continue to provide a safe and caring environment for your child. Through the deeper partnerships we have established with other agencies, and with your help, we will continue to play our part in securing a safer community across Torbay, both now and in the future.

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