Schoolgirl sex attack: three held

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THREE boys have been quizzed by police over an allegation of a serious sex attack on a Sheffield schoolgirl.

The suspects, who are all under the age of consent, were held in police custody yesterday and questioned over an allegation lodged against them by a girl the previous night.

Police were called in at around 4.50pm on Wednesday after a schoolgirl reported being sexually assaulted in a wooded area near Acres Hill Lane in Darnall.

The police helicopter was immediately dispatched to help monitor activity in the Sheffield suburb from the air and within minutes three arrests were made.

While the three boys were taken into custody to be questioned about the alleged attack, arrangements were made for the girl to be interviewed about her ordeal by specially trained officers to try to establish exactly what happened.

Chief Superintendent Simon Torr, Sheffield’s District Commander, today appealed for calm in Darnall.

“We are investigating an allegation of a serious sexual assault that occurred on Tuesday evening in the Darnall area,” he said.

“We are taking this very seriously and a full and thorough investigation is now taking place.

“Three arrests were made quickly and I don’t believe there is any wider risk to people in the area.

“The police helicopter assisted in making the arrests within minutes of us being alerted to the incident.

“We are using specially trained officers because of the ages of those we are questioning and support systems have been put in place.”

He said police officers had been ‘making enquiries’ at a number of schools in the area to identify friends and acquaintances of those involved in the investigation who may be able to help.

The police force has a specialist rape and sexual assault investigation unit where experienced officers liaise with detectives working on investigations and take control of medical examinations and video interviews, while also providing specialist care for victims.

Anyone with information about the incident, or anything to help police with the probe into the sex attack allegation should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.