LONDON — Three men have been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and false imprisonment within the grounds of an Islamic girls’ school, police said.
Police said they were investigating reports surrounding the welfare of a small group of teenage girls at Jamea Al Kauthar in Lancaster.
A 40-year-old from Bolton and two men from Blackburn, aged 30 and 53, are in police custody.
Searches are being conducted at the school by female officers.
A Lancashire Police spokesman 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.
“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.”
A spokesman for Jamea Al Kauthar said: “The school is aware of the allegations that have been made and at the present moment the school is fully co-operating with the police with their investigations into the matter. We expect the matter to be cleared up soon.”
The secondary school, on Ashton Road, was established in 1996 and was formerly the Royal Albert Hospital. (BBC)