Police arrest 40 men and women in latest probe into sex offences in Rotherham
Police have arrested 38 men and two women in the latest probe into historic sex offences in Rotherham.
They have been quizzed over the alleged sexual assault and exploitation of 13 victims, who were aged between 11 and 26 at the time of reported offences between 1997 and 2015.
The suspects are under investigation by the National Crime Agency as part of Operation Stovewood, which is looking into child sexual exploitation and abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.
The NCA said the suspects are aged between 29 and 53 and from Sheffield, Rotherham, Leeds, Dewsbury and Maidstone.
They have been arrested or interviewed by appointment over the last two months.
All have been released under investigation or bailed while enquiries continue.
Carl Vessey-Baitson from the NCA said: “Arresting such a large number of individuals, as part of one Stovewood sub-operation, shows our desire to listen to victims and bring offenders to justice is not wavering.
“Stovewood is a challenging and complex investigation, with victims and survivors re-living abuse that took place many years ago.
“To date we have engaged with over 410 victims and survivors and have arrested or interviewed by appointment 94 suspects, meaning this is the largest law enforcement investigation into non-familial child sexual abuse and exploitation ever undertaken in the UK.
“Conducting such an investigation can only be achieved with the support and coordination of our partners, and South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council continue to provide invaluable assistance.”