Somerset

North Somerset childminder charged with sex offences

An Ofsted-approved childminder has been charged with committing sexual offences against children.

Police said the 36-year-old man, who had been working in the Somerset area, was arrested following an investigation by children's services.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is in custody and will appear in court at a later date.

Police said they would be working with health professionals and the local authority to support families involved.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: "An investigation began in November 2012 following information received from children's services.

"As a result of these safeguarding concerns in relation to a specific childminding provision, a 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, and making indecent images of children.

"The man has been charged with committing a number of sexual offences against specific children and has subsequently been remanded in custody."

He said their investigations were continuing.

North Somerset Council said the arrested man was an Ofsted-registered childminder.

A spokesman said: "There is a need to respect the privacy of the families involved... our social workers and educational psychologists have been supporting (them).

"We will continue to offer support, help and advice to families in the days and weeks to come, and maintain our close and effective working relationship with Avon and Somerset Constabulary as the case goes through the criminal justice system."

A dedicated phone line has been set up for parents and carers who have concerns about their children. It can be reached on 01275 884 997.

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