by Q Radio News
Detectives investigating allegations of ill-treatment of patients at Muckamore Abbey Hospital have conducted eight searches across Northern Ireland this morning.
They were carried out in Counties Antrim and Down.
A number of items including mobile phones have been seized during the searches.
Detective Chief Inspector Jill Duffie said, “This demonstrates our commitment to delivering a full and thorough investigation.
"The safeguarding and protection of our most vulnerable is a priority for the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
"As of today there have been 158 incidents reported to police regarding Muckamore Abbey and we will continue to work through every report made to us to establish if criminal offences have been committed.
"We are very sensitive to the trauma and impact upon those families whose loved ones are at the centre of this complex investigation.
"From the outset we have been committed to working closely with them and will continue to keep them informed as much as we possibly can.
"As this is a live investigation it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this stage.”