East Sussex man arrested on suspicion of child neglect

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An East Sussex man has been arrested on suspicion of child neglect following an investigation into alleged abuse at a young offenders centre in Kent.

The 25-year-old is one of five men detained by police investigating allegations that staff mistreated youngsters at the Medway Secure Training Centre, in Rochester.

Three men from Medway, aged 35, 34 and 25, have also been arrested on suspicion of child neglect.

A 28-year-old man from Medway has been arrested on suspicion of assault as a result of the same investigation.

The inquiry was launched after BBC’s Panorama programme filmed undercover in the 76-bed centre, which houses young inmates aged 12 to 18. The footage showed staff allegedly mistreating and abusing inmates at Medway Secure Training Centre and allegedly boasting about using inappropriate techniques to restrain youngsters.

Other allegations uncovered by the programme included claims that staff tried to hide their actions by ensuring they were beneath CCTV cameras or in areas not covered by them.

A police spokesman said: “The Kent Police investigation was launched following a referral from the Medway Local Authority Designated Officer.

“All five men were arrested on Wednesday, January 13 and have been bailed until April pending further investigation.”

After the disclosures on Panorama, G4S sacked five members of staff at the centre.

Two other staff identified in the programme were suspended pending further investigation, and one other person was removed from operational duty as inquiries continue.

It emerged that one of the employees who has been suspended works for Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL).

A trust statement said: “One CNWL staff member contacted us before the programme to say that they had been present at one incident in the film.

“The footage broadcast confirmed this. Whilst we are pleased he came forward, he has been suspended whilst that incident is investigated.”

G4S said this week that it welcomed the “swift action” by police as lawyers at Leigh Day confirmed they are dealing with a number of inquiries from people alleging abuse relating to Panorama’s revelations.

Paul Cook, managing director for children’s services at G4S, said there was “no place in our business for the conduct shown” on the Panorama programme.

He added: “We will work with the police and local authority to keep our own actions under review in light of (the) developments.

“We will keep families and other professionals working with young people informed of developments as we are asked to do so. We are committed to a complete review of how this occurred and how we can ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2016, All Rights Reserved.

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