Eight held in child abuse raids

Published: Tuesday 2nd June 2015 by The News Editor

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Eight men have been arrested by police investigating child sexual exploitation offences against girls stretching back 16 years.

More than 100 officers took part in synchronised dawn raids at eight properties in Oxford at 6am, Thames Valley Police said.

Officers are investigating 60 offences in connection with the operation, codenamed Sabaton, on female victims in the city dating from 1999 to 2007.

Eight men – two aged 36 and six others aged 29, 31, 33, 37, 44 and 45 – were detained during the raids and are in police custody.

Detective Superintendent Joe Kidman said: “This is a complex investigation into child sexual exploitation in Oxford undertaken by the Thames Valley Police major crime unit.

“A number of people have been arrested in connection with the offences, which relate to female victims in Oxford between 1999 and 2007.

“We are working with our partners at Oxfordshire County Council to safeguard and support the victims, whose identities will be protected.”

Neighbourhood patrol teams have been deployed in the area to answer questions among local residents as police said tackling child exploitation was “an absolute priority”.

Hannah Farncombe, head of safeguarding at Oxfordshire County Council, said six social workers have been working alongside police and staff in connection with the operation.

Published: Tuesday 2nd June 2015 by The News Editor

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