Wiltshire Police to oversee Edward Heath child sex probe

At least seven police forces are carrying out investigations

Historic sex abuse allegations

Wiltshire Police will oversee any national investigation into child sex allegations against the late Sir Edward Heath.

At least seven police forces are carrying out investigations linked to abuse claims involving the former prime minister.

Today Wiltshire Police said it has been agreed that it will "lead on the national oversight and coordination of any investigations into Sir Edward Heath".

Operation Hydrant, a national hub coordinating inquiries into historical abuse, has been liaising with forces which received information concerning Sir Edward.

A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: "This decision has been taken following consultation between Operation Hydrant and affected forces and is based on operational considerations.

"The appointment of a lead force is to ensure that a consistent approach is adopted across the police forces concerned and to avoid duplication.

"Wiltshire Police will now be working with the respective forces to establish an appropriate national investigative strategy and supporting structure.

"Due to the complexities of this task it is anticipated that this will take a number of weeks to finalise. One of the first tasks will be to assess the new information that has been received following the appeals for information made last week."

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