Woking children's home abuse: Hundreds contacted by police

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Image caption,
The alleged offences took place at a residential children's home in Woking over four decades

Hundreds of people have been contacted by police investigating allegations of child sex abuse at a children's residential home.

Officers have spoken to more than 200 people to "identify victims and witnesses", Surrey Police said.

The investigation centres around a home in Woking, known as both Kinton Approved School and the Oaks Centre, from the 1970s to the early 2000s.

Police said 17 people have been arrested or interviewed under caution.

A spokesman for the force said: "We believe there are a number of others who may have committed criminal offences.

"We have active inquiries ongoing in liaison with Surrey County Council to try to identify these individuals where we do not have their full identity."

Police said the number of children involved was unknown, but described the investigation as "large and complex".

Care worker jailed

"New victims and new suspects continue to come to light as we speak to more people," the spokesman said.

"At this stage we have over 1,500 inquiries that have been part of the investigation."

In 2006, care worker Keith Hammerton, of Battersea in south London, was jailed for six years after admitting 10 counts of indecent assault on two teenage boys at the children's home.

His victims were aged 16 or under, and the offences were committed between 1975 and 1981.

The home, run by Surrey County Council, was closed in the early 1990s.

Surrey Police have asked anyone with more information to come forward.

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