40 people arrested over historic sexual abuse in Batley and Dewsbury
Police investigating historic child sexual abuse in Kirklees have arrested 40 people as part of a major ongoing operation.
Kirklees District Police have said they will leave no stone unturned in order to secure justice for victims after arresting 38 men and two women in the operation.
Officers conducted the arrests as part of Operation Teeford, an ongoing enquiry into the sexual abuse of nine female victims predominantly in the Dewsbury and Batley areas between 1989 and 1999.
Twenty-seven of the arrests were made in Kirklees, with others made in Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield, as well as two made outside of the West Yorkshire Police area.
All of those arrested have now been released on police bail pending continuing enquiries.
The investigation is not connected to other non-recent CSE enquiries in the Kirklees area.
DCI Ian Thornes, who leads non-recent child sexual exploitation investigations in Kirklees, said: “Safeguarding and protecting children remains a top priority for West Yorkshire Police.
"This ongoing investigation again demonstrates our determination to investigate all reports of child sexual abuse in Kirklees and West Yorkshire, whether recent, or from a number of years ago.
“This arrest phase has followed many months of investigation into reports of sexual offences against young girls in Dewsbury and Batley between 1989 and 1999 and we continue to work with and support victims.
“We firmly mean it when we say no stone is left unturned to thoroughly examine all reports of these abhorrent offences which affect some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”
He added: “Tackling child abuse is not something that any one agency can do in isolation; we work closely with local authorities, other organisations and charities to support victims, bringing the perpetrators to justice, to make our communities safer.
“We would urge anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse, whether recent or from the past, to report it to the police.
"Please be assured that you will be listened to, taken seriously and supported by professionals with experience of dealing with these kind of offences.”