Fire service sex claims investigation

Essex police have launched an investigation into allegations of historic sex abuse within the county's Fire and Rescue Service.

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Fireman found dead after sex claims

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

The man, who was in his 40s, was found dead at his home in Colchester on Monday.

It emerged yesterday that Essex Fire and Rescue Service alerted police after being told of sex abuse claims at fire stations in Essex believed to date back to the 1980s.

Essex Police confirmed that it had referred the man's death, which is not being treated as suspicious, to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The IPCC has referred the matter back to Essex Police after concluding it was satisfied with the force's handling of the case.

"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."

– Spokesman for the fire service

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