Police investigating child cruelty allegations at residential care facility in Bristol

Police are investigating allegations of child cruelty relating to a care home in Bristol.

St Christopher’s care home has closed and some members of staff have been suspended while the investigation continues.

Aurora Group, which runs the centre, said the allegations against a “small number” of staff related to the care home and not the school on the same site.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: “We’re investigating allegations of child cruelty offences relating to a special education school in the north Bristol area.

“We’re working with our multi-agency partners to ensure that safeguarding measures are being put in place and Ofsted has been notified. Parents have been contacted.

“Some members of staff have been suspended while our investigation continues. We cannot go into further details at this stage for legal reasons.”

A spokeswoman for Aurora Group said it was “deeply concerned” about allegations made against a “small number of staff” who were immediately suspended.

“They were reported to the authorities straight away in line with our safeguarding procedures,” she said.

“We are now focused on doing all that we can to support the children, young people, their families and carers, and the many caring and dedicated staff who are affected during this very difficult time.

“We have been asked by the authorities not to give any further details to protect the integrity of the investigation.”

It is understood that 28 children and young adults attended the school, with eight of these from the Bristol area.

Dr Jacqui Jensen, executive director of people services at Bristol City Council, said: “We understand Avon and Somerset Police are investigating allegations of child cruelty offences relating to an independent residential special school and care facility in the north Bristol area.

“Ofsted has taken enforcement action and issued the school with a suspension notice.

“Allegations such as this are very concerning and therefore the welfare and needs of the children, young people and their families who attend this school’s education and residential care facilities are our top priority.

“We are working with the families, other local authorities and a range of partners to review everyone’s individual care plans and make alternative arrangements for the provision of care and education.

“It is important that the children and young people are safely cared for and the families are supported.”

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