CHILD sex exploitation police have raided five addresses in Banbury this morning and arrested six men.
About 45 officers took part in the 6am raids and the men – aged between 18 and 21 – are currently all in custody after being arrested on suspicion of sex crimes.
They are suspected of committing crimes against three girls aged between 13 and 16 in the Banbury area between 2011 and this year.
The operation came after work done by the Kingfisher team based at Cowley police station.
Deputy police commander for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire, Ch Insp Helen Roberts, said: “Child sexual exploitation will not be tolerated in the Thames Valley and this dedicated team track offenders down to bring them to justice.
“We hope that today’s operation not only offers protection to these victims but also any others who we are encouraging to come forward. We will work with our partner agencies to offer them all the support they need as we carry out the investigation.
“I understand today’s events will have an impact on the local community and people will rightly be concerned about the nature of these arrests.
“Our neighbourhood policing teams are carrying out patrols in the area and will be doing their best to answer any questions, so please do not hesitate to approach them.”
Jim Leivers, director of childrens’ services at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “These arrests are the result of social workers, health professionals and Thames Valley Police working closely together to tackle child sexual exploitation in Oxfordshire.
“The arrests relate to the abuse of very vulnerable young people who told social workers that they were being sexually exploited.
“They were referred to Kingfisher as soon as their suspected involvement in child sexual exploitation came to light, and we have been supporting them since then including at the time of the arrests.”
• Our top stories:
6:30pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A 23-year-old man has been jailed for a year following the death of Long Hanborough man Richard Reed in a car crash last year.
8:30am Thursday 3rd September 2015
AN 880-PUPIL free school in Oxford has been hailed as the beginning of a new solution to the county’s shortage of places.
5:06pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A JUDGE has postponed sentencing a designer clothing firm over health and safety failures that led to a four-year-old boy being crushed by a 7ft mirror.
5:00pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A WOMAN who found a hidden camera in the shower of a hotel says she feels disgusted by the incident.
3:28pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A 34-year-old man has been arrested for aggravated burglary and criminal damage.
1:10pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A BURST pipe in Banbury is gushing water onto Broughton Road.