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Police investigating sexual and physical abuse arrest Jesus Army members

Website: ITV News
Date: 20/08/2015
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Members of the evangelical Christian group, Jesus Army, have been arrested by police investigating historic sexual and physical abuse.

The group, also known as Jesus Fellowship, is based in a former cinema in Northampton and works with homeless and vulnerable people.

The arrests followed referrals from the church itself and centre on incidents alleged to have happened between the late 1970s and late 1990s.

"In 2013 the Jesus Fellowship initiated a process of inviting disclosures of any past abuse which might have occurred in the church, or during its activities, ever since the church was founded in the seventies. This is a similar process to that undertaken by the Methodist Church, the results of which were published recently.

We believe that openness and transparency is very important.

The welfare of children and young people is of paramount importance, so the Church has also commissioned an audit of its current Safeguarding procedures and practice which is being conducted by an outside, independent agency."

Mick Haines, Jesus Army National Team Leader

The Church has other centres in Coventry, London and Sheffield and plans to open one in Birmingham later this year.

Northamptonshire Police confirmed the investigation is underway into people who were members of Jesus Fellowship and others who, "frequented their premises on an ad-hoc basis".