Eight suspected members of sex abuse gang arrested in High Wycombe police raids

Thames Valley Police said the arrests came after a girl claimed to have been abused in the leafy Buckinghamshire town between 2007 and 2012

Eight suspected members of a sex abuse gang have been arrested in a series of police raids in High Wycombe.

Thames Valley Police said the arrests came after a girl claimed to have been abused in the leafy Buckinghamshire town between 2007 and 2012, adding they believe there may be additional victims who have not yet come forward.

The arrests, targeting people suspected of child sexual exploitation, saw the arrests of eight men - one aged 20, three aged 21, two aged 22, one aged 26 and one aged 28.

They were all held on suspicion of committing sexual offences against a girl.

Detective Chief Inspector Vince Grey said: “In terms of child exploitation, the general premise is there will be a number of victims.

”With this particular victim, she's mainly discussed actions involving herself, not going into any great details in terms of other persons, but we believe in terms of what she told us that there will be other victims.“

”We believe that it is likely that there are more victims who have not yet spoken to the police and would like to encourage anyone who is a victim to come forward and speak to us on 01296 396396.

Mr Grey praised the girl, who is under 18, for having the courage to speak to police.

“She's been extremely brave and courageous in coming forward in the first place; obviously we can't imagine what she and other victims have gone through.

”She's come forward and she's indicated what offending has happened to her, who's been involved in that, and over what time period.“

The force believes that victims may have been groomed - when abusers make friends with potential victims - by members of the gang.

Mr Grey said: ”You enter the grooming stage first, obviously grooming is a specific offence. One stream can develop into where we are now, when that process has taken place and that turns into an abusive relationship of some sort, which can lead to much more damaging exploitation and sexual offences taking place.“

The suspects were identified from the girl's account along with additional investigation, Mr Grey said.

Mr Grey said: ”We will not tolerate child exploitation in Thames Valley and today's warrants are part of a lengthy investigation spanning many months.

“I can offer the reassurance that we have support networks in place and will deal with each case with respect and confidentiality.

”Our number one priority is to protect the victims, both their identities and well-being in such cases.“

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor