Arrested clergy released

Two men - a retired bishop and a retired priest - have been arrested and released over allegations of sexual abuse in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Arrested clergy released - Sussex Police statement

Sussex Police statement Credit: Sussex Police

The 80-year-old man arrested this morning at his home address near Langport, Somerset, on suspicion of eight sexual offences in East Sussex and in one case elsewhere, during the late 1980s and early 1990's, was released at his home this afternoon on medical advice.

It is our intention to interview him at a later date. The offences were allegedly committed against eight boys and young men, all of whom were at time in their late teens or early twenties, except one who was 12. We will continue pursue allegations of sexual offending robustly.

Investigations must always include proper regard for the health and welfare of suspects, as well as for that of victims, and we also comply with the requirements of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act in relation to the treatment of people under arrest.

The 67-year-old man arrested at his home address near Haywards Heath on suspicion of two separate sexual offences against two boys, aged 17 and 18 at the time, in East Sussex between 1981 and 1983, was interviewed in Sussex and released on police bail late this afternoon while enquiries continue.

The arrests result from a review and subsequent investigation over the past six months.

The investigation follows receipt in May this year from Lambeth Palace of two reports from a Church of England safeguarding consultant.

They contain reviews of church files relating to matters relating to the safeguarding of young people in the Chichester Diocese during the 1980's and early 1990's.

This is a very complex enquiry, in the course of which many people, all now adults, have had to be traced, together with other witnesses and records from a wide variety of sources, and there is continuing consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

There are no allegations of recent or current offending and police emphasise that there is nothing to suggest that any young people are currently at risk. Police also stress that the allegations are being treated separately and do not involve the two men allegedly acting together.

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