12/12/2012 03:35 GMT

New Sexual Abuse Claims At St Ambrose College, Cheshire, As More Victims Come Forward

Detectives investigating alleged sexual abuse at a Catholic boys' school are looking into new allegations after receiving more calls from former pupils.

Last month, a 63-year-old former teacher was held on suspicion of indecent assault and possession of indecent images dating back to the early 1980s.

He was later bailed until March 12, pending further inquiries.

His alleged victim was a pupil at St Ambrose College in Hale Barns, Altrincham, Cheshire, where the man taught.

Detectives from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are investigating incidents of sexual and physical abuse at the fee-paying school between the early 1960s and late 1980s.

Following an appeal made to the media earlier this month, a number of further phone calls were made to a dedicated phone line.

Police said these reports are being investigated and in the comings days, officers will be visiting all those who have contacted the force.

Some of the reports from former pupils allegedly involve members of staff at that time.

Some relate to incidents which took place on school premises and others which did not, police said.

Detective Inspector Jed Pidd, from Trafford's Public Protection Investigation Unit (PPIU), said: "While it is not appropriate to detail the number of calls we have received, it is fair to say that the size of this investigation has grown, given the response from members of the public.

"We have an awful lot of information to sift through, some of which is detail relevant to the investigation but where no offences have been disclosed, and some of which is information alleging offences similar to those already made and being investigated.

"Clearly, we will be visiting all those who have called us and providing whatever support we can.

"It is extremely important to once again emphasise that we are looking at historical incidents, the latest having occurred more than 20 years ago."

He added: "While that in no way lessens the impact on the victims, it is pertinent in respect of safeguarding concerns current pupils and their families will undoubtedly have and I would like to stress that the welfare and safety of pupils is a top priority for GMP, the local authority and the school.

"We have had a significant response from former pupils but if anyone else has any information they want to pass to us or any offences they want to report but have not yet done so, I would urge you to contact us in absolute confidence and want to reassure you that we have specially trained officers on hand to assist you."

According to its website, the college - now under local authority control - states it is a Christian Brothers' school with "a selective intake" in which boys take a competitive entrance examination.

It has 950 pupils, including about 200 in its sixth form, of which the school states: "Most proceed to university, a number to Oxbridge."

Anyone wishing to report information or come forward regarding the ongoing investigation at St Ambrose RC College in Altrincham is asked to use the following numbers: 0800 0920410 and 0207 158 0214.