OFFICERS looking into allegations of child abuse in Rotherham have made another series of arrests.
The National Crime Agency made arrests in connection to three separate investigations as part of Operation Stovewood, the agency’s enquiry into abuse in the town between 1997 and 2013.
The first, which is examining allegations of abuse between 2003 to 2008, involving one victim, saw nine men aged between 36 and 49 arrested between Wednesday, October 7 and Thursday, October 15. All are accused of rape offences.
The arrests took place in Rotherham, Sheffield, Doncaster, Blackburn, Wakefield and County Durham.
Officers investigating the alleged abuse of two victims between 2007 and 2009 have made five arrests of men aged between 29 and 62, all in the Rotherham area. Three were detained on October 13 and the other two yesterday (October 15).
Last Saturday (October 10), a 51-year-old man was arrested in Conisbrough on suspicion of a series of serious sexual offences against a 14 or 15-year-old girl, alleged to have taken place in 2008.
All were questioned and released while investigations continue.
NCA regional head of investigations Rob Burgess said: "This latest operational activity means we have now questioned more than 190 people as part of Operation Stovewood.
“We have also worked with policing and local authority partners to take safeguarding action protecting around 40 children in just the last two weeks. This is an important part of our work and often goes unheralded.
“While our determination to bring to justice offenders is undiminished, we continue to reach out and appeal to victims or witnesses to come forward.
“Our investigation is victim focused, and we’re interested in speaking to anyone who might have information to help investigations into child sexual abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. Victims will be supported.”
Contact details for the Stovewood team can be found on the National Crime Agency’s website at www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/Stovewood.
Stovewood is the single largest law enforcement investigation into non-familial child sexual abuse (CSA) in the UK.