AROUND 40 police officers in plain clothes unleashed dawn raids at five houses across Oxfordshire this morning in the hunt for child sex predators.
Four homes in Banbury were broken into in the early hours, as well as one home in Chipping Norton.
Four men have now been arrested on suspicion of sexually exploiting six girls who were raped and abused in Banbury between the years 2000 and 2007.
- A 52-year-old man from Banbury has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rape a female under 16, four counts of rape of a female under 16, rape of a female over 16, two counts of indecent assault of a female under 16, making an indecent photograph of a child and two counts of false imprisonment.
- A 47-year-old man from Chipping Norton has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rape a female under 16, two counts of rape to a female under 16, a rape of a female over 16.
- A 48-year-old man from Banbury has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rape a female under 16, two counts of rape of a female under 16, rape of a female over 16, and two counts of indecent assault on a female under 16.
- A 44-year-old man from Banbury was arrested on suspicion of a count each of conspiracy to rape a female under 16, and rape a female under 16.
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Following the arrests, Detective Inspector Nick Hind, said: “I understand that these arrests may cause concern within the community. This investigation is ongoing and legal proceedings are active, therefore we cannot provide all of the information immediately. However updates will be issued as and when we are able to.
“We will always look to tackle child sexual exploitation, being both recent and non-recent, and safeguarding victims of these offences is an absolute priority for Thames Valley Police.
“We will take all reports seriously. We would encourage people to please contact us as it is never too late to make a report. You will always be listened to and treated with utmost dignity and your welfare will be a priority for us.”
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Superintendent Emma Garside, Local Policing Area Commander for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire, said: “Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation of and/ or pressure on young people, under the age of 18, into sexual activity.
“Whether you’re a member of the public, a parent, guardian or professional working with children, we all have a role to play in helping to prevent CSE. I am grateful to the victims in this case for having the courage to share their experiences and in doing so enabling today’s arrests to be made.”
All men are still being questioned by the police.
To make a report call police on 101.
In an emergency call police on 999.