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West Yorkshire police arrest 55 men in child sexual abuse investigation

Detectives in West Yorkshire have arrested 55 men as part of an investigation into historical allegations of child sexual abuse.

Police said the men were arrested after seven women made allegations that they were sexually abused as children in the Dewsbury and Batley areas between 2002 and 2009.

The men were arrested in Dewsbury, Bradford and Batley over the last few months and were interviewed and released pending further inquiries.

DI Ian Thornes, leading the investigation, described child sexual abuse and exploitation as “an abhorrent and heinous crime” and urged anyone who has been a victim to report it to police.

He said: “Please be assured that you will be listened to, taken seriously and supported by professionals with experience of dealing with these kind of offences.”

He said safeguarding and protecting children remained the “top priority” for West Yorkshire police and said the force was working with local authorities, other organisations and charities to support victims and bring perpetrators to justice.

He said: “This investigation demonstrates the force’s ongoing commitment to the investigation of both current and non-recent sexual offences against children.

“Child sexual abuse and exploitation is an abhorrent and heinous crime and one which affects some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

“We have teams of specialist safeguarding units across each district in West Yorkshire, which include police officers dedicated to dealing with both current and non-recent child abuse and child sexual exploitation.”

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