Detectives probing allegations of abuse on inmates at Medomsley Detention Centre have begun interviewing former members of prison staff.

A new investigation into alleged violent and sexual attacks at the young offenders’ centre near Consett, was launched by Durham Police last year.

It relates to the abuse of detainees in their late teens who were held at the Home Office-run centre between 1960, and when it closed in 1988.

Previous police investigations in 2003 and 2005 led to the conviction and jailing of former staff members Neville Husband and Leslie Johnson, who have since died.

Jordan’s Solicitors have managed a number of claims for compensation involving former inmates of Medomsley Detention Centre to a successful conclusion.

Christine Sands, Head of the Child Abuse Claims Department at Jordan’s, said: “We are pleased to see the investigation into the abuse that occurred at Medomsley has been reopened and progress is being made. Our clients await justice for what was clearly widespread and endemic abuse within Medomsley Detention Centre that extended beyond the involvement of Neville Husband”

Since the new probe was launched, codenamed ‘Operation Seabrook’, a staggering 915 men have contacted police to say they had been either physically or sexually abused at Medomsley. But just a third of these say they were abused by either Johnson or Husband.

Last week detectives began interviewing four more men, all of which attended police stations voluntarily but were formally interviewed under caution.

All were prison officers at Medomsley at different times during the 1970s and 1980s.

Det Supt Paul Goundry, of Durham Constabulary, praised the “courage” of the alleged victims in coming forward and said nearly 200 out of the 915 had taken up the force’s offer of counselling and professional support.

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