More arrests in sexploitation probe

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The Independent Online

Two more men have been arrested as part of a widespread investigation into child sex trafficking and exploitation.

Fifteen men were questioned in June by detectives probing the alleged sexual exploitation of a number of teenage girls from Stockport, Greater Manchester. They were later released on bail pending further inquiries.

Today, officers arrested a 25-year-old man from the Longsight area and a 24-year-old man from Tameside on suspicion of trafficking within the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

Police said the investigation has involved around 100 detectives and is one of the largest ever carried out by Greater Manchester Police's Serious Crime Division.

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Marsh said: "The additional arrests we have made today show that our investigation into the issue of sexual exploitation is very much ongoing and is something that we take extremely seriously.

"Sadly, sexually exploited children exist across the UK in all communities and in all kinds of homes regardless of ethnicity.

"However, I want to reassure the people of Greater Manchester that we have a number of operations currently running to target this kind of criminal behaviour and that this issue is a top priority for GMP.

"We will continue to dedicate a significant amount of officers to this investigation and work closely with local authorities, and other organisations such as Barnardo's, to address the specific issue of adults befriending and grooming younger people for sex.

"We are also looking into whether there could possibly be more victims in this case. If anyone thinks they may have been sexually exploited, please get in touch with the police and we will support you and investigate your report thoroughly."

Anyone who is concerned about a child or young person should call Greater Manchester Police's safeguarding vulnerable people team on 0161 856 3307 or the NSPCC on 0800 800 5000.

Any child or young person wanting help and advice can use the numbers above or contact Childline on 0800 1111.