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'Critical that agencies take collective action' to keep children safe

The independent chair of the Leicestershire and Rutland Local Safeguarding Children Board, has highlighted the importance of local inter-agency co-operation to safeguard children.

The statement comes after Police confirmed earlier today that two men arrested in connection with child abuse claims at the Concordia Theatre, are being investigated for possession of indecent images of children.

Paul Burnett, said:

The board’s role is to ensure that local agencies are working together effectively to safeguard children. In a situation such as this where there are concerns about adults working in positions of trust with young people, it is critical that agencies take collective action to keep children safe. Children’s safeguarding must always be paramount in our minds and should override all other considerations.

Keeping children safe 'must be priority' says Council

Concordia Theatre in Hinckley is found to have 'inadequate' safeguarding procedures in place Credit: Google Maps

Director for Children and Family Services at Leicestershire County Council, Lesley Hagger, has highlighted the importance of child safety and labelled the safeguarding procedures at Concordia Theatre in Hinckley 'inadequate':

"Keeping children safe must be our priority. It’s important to stress that we have found the safeguarding procedures in place at the theatre to be inadequate and given these circumstances, it would not be right for us to issue performance licences for children...

... Alongside the police, we are seeking to engage positively with the Concordia to improve its procedures, so we and the community can be confident that children taking part in theatre activities are safe.”

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Police want license reviewed at Concordia Theatre

Detective Inspector Rich Hiom, from Leicestershire Police, says a request has been made to review the license which governs the provision of entertainment, alcohol, and the sale of hot food at Concordia Theatre in Hinckley:

We can also confirm that an application has been made to review the Concordia Theatre’s premises licence - which governs the provision of entertainment, alcohol, and the sale of hot food late at night. This is because one of the four objectives of the Licensing Act is to ensure the protection of children from harm."

He went on to say:

We recognise the important position the theatre has within the community. We have not taken the action so far lightly, and we look forward to the day when we can be confident that the theatre is a safe place for children. We recognise the disruption this is causing, but these actions have been taken in order to protect children and young people at the theatre now and in the future."

Police confirm men arrested for possession of indecent images of children

The Concordia Theatre is at the centre of a child sex abuse investigation Credit: ITV News Central

Police in Leicester have released more information surrounding the criminal and safeguarding investigations being conducted in connection with child abuse claims at the Concordia Theatre, in Hinckley.

Speaking on behalf of Leicestershire Police, Detective Inspector Rich Hiom said:

"We can confirm that the two men arrested so far are being investigated for possession of indecent images of children...

... Our investigation is still seeking to confirm any sexual offence has taken place and we are appealing for information about any inappropriate activities at the theatre...

... As part of our investigation we identified two other men who have previous convictions for child sex offences. These were committed many years ago, and both have completed their sentences...

... Another man, Matthew Wilson, was convicted in 2013 of serious sexual offences involving children, most of whom were targeted through the theatre...

... The common theme for all five men is that they all have strong connections to the Concordia Theatre and all the men are being or have been investigated for offences involving the sexual abuse of children...

... The two men with earlier convictions have now been removed from the theatre. However, the theatre management failed to give the expected level of support to the investigation."

Hayley Pointon shooting: police following fresh leads

Hayley Pointon was shot dead while visiting a house in Hinckley in Leicestershire a year ago.
Hayley Pointon was shot dead while visiting a house in Hinckley in Leicestershire a year ago. Credit: ITV News Central

Police investigating the murder of a mother of two from Coventry say they are following up a number of fresh leads.

Hayley Pointon was shot dead while visiting a house in Hinckley in Leicestershire a year ago.

Police used the anniversary of the 30-year-old's death to appeal for help to solve her murder.

21 people have been arrested.

Nine of them are on police bail, but no one has been charged in connection with her death.

Theatre to stay open during sex investigation

The Concordia Theatre in Hinckley has vowed to remain open while police investigate possible child sex offences.

Concordia Theatre are co-operating fully with the investigations."

– Concordia Theatre

A spokesman for the theatre told ITV News Central they are "co-operating fully" with the authorities and they would not be releasing anything further until the conclusion of the investigation.

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Appeal for potential child sex abuse victims

Leicestershire Police are investigating possible child sex offences on children linked to a theatre in Hinckley.

While the offences currently under investigation were not committed at the theatre on Stockwell Head in Hinckley, police are not ruling out the possibility.

Detective Inspector Richard Hiom told ITV News that searches had taken place at four locations including at the theatre. Two men have been arrested and released on bail.

Licence freeze for new theatre shows starring children

All new performances starring children at Leicestershire's Concordia Theatre will be delayed during investigations into allegations of child sex abuse at the venue.

Council chiefs said while shows which have already been booked at the Hinckley theatre will go ahead as planned, no new licences will be issued.

The Concordia Theatre in Hinckley
The Concordia Theatre in Hinckley Credit: ITV News Central

Four people have been excluded from the theatre, two of which have been arrested and bailed as part of the inquiry.

Lesley Hagger, children's services director at Leicestershire County Council, said staff were working closely with police during the investigation.

We want to reassure parents that safeguarding children is a priority.

This includes ensuring that it's appropriate for people to work in positions of trust with children and we're working closely with the police and other partners on this investigation.

Given the current circumstances, it would not be appropriate for us to issue licences for children to take part in forthcoming productions.

Detectives urge possible theatre victims to speak out

Detectives investigating possible child sex abuse at Leicestershire's Concordia Theatre have urged any victims to get in touch.

Officers have launched an investigation, codenamed Operation Goliath, into possible crimes against children at the theatre in Hinckley.

Det Insp Richard Hiom urged people to contact officers with any information.

We are interested in speaking to any person who has connections to the theatre and has information around the possible sexual offences that have been committed.

– DI Richard Hiom, Leicestershire Police

He said extra support could be found through ChildLine or the NSPCC.

Child sex abuse inquiry launched at Midland theatre

A major child sex abuse investigation has been launched at a Leicestershire theatre, it emerged today.

Four men have been banned from the Concordia Theatre in Stockwell Head, Hinckley, as part of the inquiry. Two of them have been arrested and bailed.

The Concordia Theatre is at the centre of a child sex abuse investigation
The Concordia Theatre is at the centre of a child sex abuse investigation Credit: Google Maps

Leicestershire Police today revealed four search warrants had been carried out, including one at the theatre itself.

Detectives are now appealing for anyone with any information about possible sex offences connected to the theatre to get in touch.

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