South Yorkshire Police make three arrests in crackdown on child criminal exploitation
Three arrests have been made by South Yorkshire Police in a crackdown on those exploiting children for criminality.
The Rotherham men, aged 22, 22 and 23, were arrested as part of a blitz on Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) or County Lines – referring to phone lines used by criminal gangs branching out into new areas.
They were arrested yesterday on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and trafficking for the purposes of exploitation.
South Yorkshire Police said officers swooped as part of an investigation into local organised crime groups, including one where a 13-year-old boy was recruited to supply drugs for them in Rotherham.
The men have since been released under investigation.
Detective Inspector Nikki Leach said: “We are determined here in Rotherham to take positive action to tackle all organised crime groups, especially those who are responsible for the exploitation of children.
“These young people often do now know they’re being exploited. At such an impressionable time in their lives, they deserve protection from those who may prey on their vulnerabilities for considerable financial gain.
“There are some key signs to spot when it comes to CCE. Please take time to research them, and speak to your children if you have any concerns about their behaviour or whereabouts; it could make a massive difference.
Anyone with concerns about CCE should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.