Hereford & Worcester

Worcestershire nursery sex assault probe: Five arrests made

Five men have been arrested after a child complained of being sexually assaulted at a children's nursery in Worcestershire.

The child's mother told police it happened at one of the three branches of Bright Eyes nurseries, which are in Bromsgrove, Redditch and Droitwich.

West Mercia Police said they were alerted last week.

As well as the arrests, six properties were searched, including three nurseries, police said.

No-one from Bright Eyes wished to comment.

'Not paedophile ring'

West Mercia Police said the owners of the three branches had taken the decision to close all three premises while the police investigation continues.

Supt Kevin Purcell said: "All parents and carers who have visited the nurseries today were given a letter explaining, as far as possible, the reasons for our activities, while police staff are available to discuss any immediate worries they may have."

At a press briefing he said "we are not dealing with a paedophile ring at this stage".

Police described the five arrested men as "either working at or having access to the nurseries".

The men are currently in custody at Worcester and Kidderminster police stations.

'Primary concern'

Police are to meet parents of children at all three nursery locations "at some stage" on Friday.

Mr Purcell said officers were taking the complaint "extremely seriously" and were treating it as sensitively as possible due to the nature of the offence and the very young age of the child involved.

"Our primary concern is their [the child's] welfare as well as that of the other children who attend the nurseries.

"We are working with our partner agencies in the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board as part of our response.

"The investigation is at its early stages and five men have been arrested as we endeavour to identify the person responsible for the assault.

"We fully understand how concerning this disclosure will be to those people whose children attend Bright Eyes nurseries, as well as the wider community."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

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