THE senior detective heading up a review of historic sex abuse in Fermanagh spanning several decades confirmed this week that police have identified “there may be links between some offenders who have committed crimes on more than one victim.”
However Head of Public Protection Detective Chief Superintendent Paula Hilman added: “There is no information at present to suggest there was a network of organised involvement in the abuse of children in the Fermanagh area.
She added: “While we have identified there may be links between some offenders who have committed crimes on more than one victim, at present these links appear mostly to be based on, for example, family relationships.”
She said many victims of childhood sexual abuse who come forward to police “can be extremely vulnerable.”
“Sometimes this is as a result of the abuse they have suffered. As a consequence some victims, as we are seeing now, are not in a position to engage further with police, or at least at this moment in time, and for others some planning is required to ensure they are adequately supported to provide their evidence. 
“Until evidence is provided by victims to my officers, it would be wrong to make judgements as to the scale and nature of the abuse. Hence the reason to reach out to victims, as I have done in all our previous appeals, to encourage them to come forward and contact police so we can get a better understanding and establish a clear picture of what has occurred and who may be involved.”
Detective Hilman said police are aware of the commentary and speculation being made about what people know and what the police at the time knew or didn’t know. “Therefore, I would appeal to anyone who may have any information about historical child sex abuse to please come and talk to us. Whether you are a victim or someone who may have information to assist us with our investigation.
“We treat every allegation of sexual abuse seriously and victims can be assured that they will be treated with the utmost sensitivity, care and respect.  You can report  directly to the police via 101 or through a dedicated email address at,” she said. 
In April this newspaper featured the stories of two men who contacted us separately alleging that they had been sexually abused by the same businessman. Their details were given to police with their permission.
Also last month a woman claimed she had been abused by her brother when she was a child only to find out some years later that her son had also been abused by the same man. Their details were given to police with their permission. The alleged abuser’s name has been given to this newspaper by three other alleged victims in recent weeks who have not yet spoken to police.
Last week three alleged victims claimed in an interview with this newspaper that another Enniskillen businessman had abused them. Their details were also given to police with their permission. 
As of Wednesday police had not been in touch with them to discuss their claims.
Some of these cases had previously been reported to police.