More than 60 people have come forward after an investigation was launched following historical reports of sexual and physical abuse at an adolescent unit.

Operation Meadow was set up in November 2017 after allegations were made of abuse against patients at Hill End Hospital in St Albans between 1969 and its closure in 1995.

Hertfordshire Police say that 66 people have since been in touch and the criminal investigation is ongoing.

Detective Chief Inspector Jerome Kent said: “Most of these reports relate to allegations regarding the treatment young people received while at the unit.

“We are continuing to speak to and support those who have come forward and are also working with partners within the health service to fully explore these allegations.

“This is an on-going investigation and it would be inappropriate to go into any further details about the nature of the allegations at this stage. However, we felt it was important to keep the public updated as much as possible as the Operation Meadow investigation progresses.”

Assistant Chief Constable Bill Jephson added: “We take all reports of sexual and physical abuse seriously regardless of how long ago the offence may have occurred. I appreciate that re-visiting non-recent crimes may be a traumatic ordeal for victims but we have officers who are specially trained to deal with these types of crimes while supporting victims through the investigative process.”

Those who believe they have been a victim of this type of abuse or have any information can contact police by calling 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800555111.