Essex Fire Service sex abuse claims: Death of man quizzed by police

A firefighter spoken to by police investigating sex abuse allegations within a fire service has been found dead.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service alerted police after being told of sex abuse claims believed to date back to the 1980s.

An Essex firefighter who had been approached by investigators was found dead at his Colchester home on Monday.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Initiation ceremonies

It has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission because of the police contact, but the commission will not be carrying out its own investigation.

Details of the allegations have not been confirmed but are possibly linked to initiation ceremonies.

Essex Police said it had spoken to a "number of people" but no arrests had been made.

A spokesman for the fire service said: "During an internal investigation, senior managers were made aware of allegations of potential criminal activity within the service.

"These matters were alleged to have happened some time ago but, due to their serious nature and following clear legal advice, managers referred the matter to Essex Police.

"Since then, the service has been co-operating fully with the police inquiry and has advised staff to do the same."

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