UK Police Arrest 33 Men Over Child Sex Abuse

February 4, 2019 Updated: February 4, 2019

LONDON—British police have arrested 33 men as part of an investigation into historical child sex abuse allegations involving one woman, a police force in northern England said Feb. 4.

The men were arrested after the woman alleged that she was sexually abused as a child between 2002 and 2005 in Halifax in the West Yorkshire area, local police said.

All of the men were interviewed and released under investigation, according to West Yorkshire police.

“Protecting and safeguarding children is a top priority … this operation forms part of West Yorkshire Police’s ongoing commitment to investigating both current and non-recent sexual offenses against children,” Detective Inspector Laura Nield said.

“Tackling child abuse is not something the police can do alone, and we continue to work closely with local authorities, charities, and other organizations to support victims and bring offenders to justice,” she said in a statement.

West Yorkshire police last month arrested 55 men in a separate investigation into historical child sex abuse allegations involving seven women in the region.

All the men were interviewed and released under investigation, according to detectives in West Yorkshire.

The allegations were made by seven women in connection with sexual abuse against them as children between 2002 and 2009. The men are from Dewsbury, Batley, and Bradford.

Investigators warned in 2017 that child exploitation was still in operation across the country.

“I think there’s every likelihood that this is happening in every town and city across the country,” Chief Constable Steve Ashman of Northumbria Police told The Independent.

Last August, 30 men and one woman were charged with sexual exploitation in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. The suspects were charged with abusing five girls under the age of 18 over a period of seven years, between 2005 and 2012. Charges included rape, trafficking, and sexual exploitation. The alleged victims were between the ages of 12 and 18.

In March 2018, seven men were convicted of abusing young girls in Oxford. The gang frequently abused girls aged between 13 and 15, the court heard.

A number of grooming gangs have been exposed in the UK in recent years; one of the most prominent cases is in Rotherham.

A 2014 investigation found there were 1,400 sex abuse victims in the town between 1997 and 2013.

Reuters and Epoch Times reporters John Smithies and Simon Veazey contributed to this report.

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