Man held over 'large scale' sex abuse at Swaylands School

A 74-year-old has been arrested as part of an investigation into the abuse of up to 50 pupils at a school for children with behavioural difficulties.

The man from Tunbridge Wells was detained on Tuesday on suspicion of misconduct in a public office.

He is the fifth person to be detained in the probe into "large scale abuse" at Swaylands School, Penshurst, Kent between 1967 and 1993.

Kent Police said the arrested man would be questioned later on Tuesday.

'50 victims identified'

Det Ch Insp Paul Fotheringham said: "Following new information that was given to us last year, we launched a new investigation into the abuse of children at a school in Penshurst during 1967 to 1993.

"A dedicated team of investigators have identified a number of suspects and many people who are either victims or witnesses in this investigation.

"We now want to speak to anyone who has information or witnessed anything relating to the abuse of children, particularly anyone who worked at the school, either employees or casual staff, between 1967 and 1993.

"So far, our investigation has identified around 50 victims in this large scale abuse inquiry. We are committed to bring any perpetrators of this horrific crime to justice."

Kent Police said four other men, all arrested on suspicion of the sexual abuse of children, remained on bail - they include a 70 year-old man from Lancashire, a man aged 70 from Edinburgh, a 73-year-old Norfolk man and a man aged 61 from Berkshire.

An additional three suspects identified during the latest investigation have died.

In 1993 two men were convicted of six sex offences against children at Swaylands.

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