The man was arrested following a Hertfordshire Constabulary investigation into suspected child sexual exploitation (CSE).
Police searched an address in Hatfield on Thursday, January 23, as part of a missing person enquiry, and a 16-year-old girl was found after she was reported missing earlier that day.
Her 15-year-old friend was also with her.
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Officers seized heroin from the property and a man was later arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a child and causing or inciting child sexual exploitation.
Officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Halo team, which is a unit dedicated to tackling child sexual exploitation, are now working with the two girls to protect them and investigate any offences.
Detective inspector Andrea Dalton, who leads Halo, said: “We have recently increased the size of our team which means we can now dedicate even more time to proactively pursuing those allegedly involved in the sexual exploitation of children.
“We work alongside our colleagues across the force as well as with external partners to share information so we can safeguard even more vulnerable young people.”
If you have concerns about a friend or family member, please tell someone. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking directly to police, you can contact Fearless.
A 20-year-old man from Hatfield has been charged with possession with intent to supply class A drugs and possession with intent to supply class B drugs in connection with the investigation. He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at St Albans Crown Court on Monday 24 February.