Summer camp closed after man arrested over indecent images of children

By Sandy Rashty (The Jewish Chronicle)
August 7, 2015

Police have confirmed that LL Camps in Hertfordshire was shut down after a man was arrested on suspicion of possession of indecent images of children.

The privately-run children's summer camp, which is popular with Jewish families, was shut down on Thursday with no advance notice.

A police spokesman said the camp, for children aged 3-14 years old, was shut after the 27-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday.

The spokesman added that "the pictures may have been taken of children at the camp, but we don't know".

He said no other camps in the area had been shut down.

A joint statement from Hertfordshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire County Council, which was released on Friday, read: "A 27-year-old man from Borehamwood has been arrested on suspicion of possession of indecent images of children and has been bailed until September.

"Hertfordshire Constabulary, Hertfordshire County Council and Ofsted and are working together on this issue and the safety and welfare of children is the top priority."

Police and the council said: "Swift action will be taken should the investigation reveal that any child has been affected and families will be contacted direct.

They advised parents who feared that their child may have been at risk to call Hertfordshire County Council on 0300 123 4043 and ask to make a referral to Children's Services.

An Ofsted spokesperson said: "We can confirm we have suspended the registrations of these early years settings while investigations are carried out. It would be inappropriate to comment further while investigations are ongoing."

Camp director Ben Lewis would not comment.

He said: "Unfortunately we cannot give comment at this stage. We are not able to disclose any information at this stage."

Mr Lewis said there would be more information available "in due course".

On Thursday night, parents received an email from the camp notifying them of the closure.

It read: "We regret to inform you that LL Camps will be closed for the summer with immediate effect.

"We understand that this will cause significant inconvenience to you and we are exceptionally apologetic for this.

"We cannot disclose any further information at this time and we appreciate your patience in this matter."

Hundreds of parents, who were left without childcare, were not given any explanation as to why the camp for children aged 3-14 was closed.

Mr Lewis and fellow LL Camps founder Tal Landsman are in the process of applying to establish a cross-communal free school in the Borehamwood area.