12:13pm Monday 11th March 2013
Three men have been arrested in an investigation into allegations of sexual assault and false imprisonment at a Lancaster Islamic school.
The investigation has been launched after a report was made to police involving concern for the welfare of a small group of teenage girls within the grounds of the Islamic School for Girls in Lancaster.
A statement from Lancashire Police said: "We are still at the very early stages of the investigation and our aim at the moment is to respond to the concerns raised proportionately, in a measured way and with sensitivity.
"Searches at the school are being conducted by specialist, female officers with sensitivity and are being carried out as quickly as possible to ensure minimum impact.
"We are working closely with the school and the local authorities to establish the circumstances around exactly what has taken place and we have specialist officers supporting the victims."
Three men have been arrested in connection with the investigation. A 40-year-old man from Bolton and a 30-year-old man from Blackburn have been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and false imprisonment and a 53-year-old man from Blackburn has been arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment. All are currently in custody.
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