Five men arrested over alleged rape of girl, 12, in Rotherham
Five men have been arrested over the alleged rape of a 12-year-old girl in Rotherham.
Four men, aged between 28 and 31, were detained in Rotherham, and a fifth, aged 31, was arrested in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, yesterday, Wednesday, February 10.
They were all arrested by the National Crime Agency and were held on suspicion of rape and questioned before being released on bail pending further enquiries.
The arrests are the latest to be made as part of Operation Stovewood, the agency’s investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.
The men were arrested in connection with an alleged rape in the Rotherham area in 2007, when the victim was aged just 12.
Philip Marshall, the NCA’s senior investigating officer for Operation Stovewood, said: “The NCA now have more than 40 separate investigations as part of Operation Stovewood with more than 260 identified suspects.
“We continue to encourage all victims to come forward and speak to us in confidence. We, and our partners, will work with them to ensure that appropriate support is in place and I hope these latest arrests send out the message that we will take these allegations extremely seriously.
“Victims will be listened to and they will be supported throughout.”
Around 200 officers are now involved in Operation Stovewood, which is the largest law enforcement investigation into non-familial child sexual exploitation and abuse in the UK.
Since it began in 2014, 20 people have been convicted and handed prison sentences totalling around 250 years.
Potential victims and witnesses can contact the Operation Stovewood team via the NCA website at www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/Stovewood. All information will be treated in confidence.