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Investigation into sex allegations underway

Investigation into sex allegations underway

Bay of Plenty Police is investigating information regarding allegations of a sexual nature involving students at Opotiki College, and is continuing to provide support to affected students, their families and the school.

There is currently no indication that any of the alleged offending has occurred at the school or that it involves any school staff.

"Police are in the initial phases of the investigation and are taking the matter seriously.

Police are following all proper processes, including working closely with the young people concerned, their families, the school and other agencies to ensure the proper support and resources are in place," says Detective Inspector Mark Loper of Bay of Plenty Police.

"This has involved talking with a number of students who have provided information, and their families, and providing them with the appropriate ongoing assistance.

“Our priority is the well-being of the young people who have provided the information and we have spoken to their families about how we will progress from here.

"We are also aware that some media have been making direct approaches to students and alleged victims' families, but we ask that they please respect their privacy and consider the additional stress that this may be placing upon them as we work to guide them through this process, which is already challenging enough.

"We also appreciate there are people in the community who are naturally concerned about these allegations, as are Police, which is why we are taking them seriously and investigating them. Police have allocated all the resources necessary for this inquiry.

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"However, we need to work carefully and methodically, and ask that the community have patience while that occurs.

In the meantime, we will continue to keep the affected students and their families appropriately informed as our inquiries progress.

"We also encourage anyone who may have information on this matter, or who may be a potential victim, to please contact Police."

Information can be provided to DI Loper on (07) 348 0099.

It can also be provided anonymously through the organisation CrimeStoppers, ph 0800 555 111.

ENDS

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