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Four held in runaway girl sex probe

Four people have been arrested following an investigation into child sexual exploitation involving runaway girls.

Two men, aged 25 and 30, were arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a child under 16, conspiracy to commit a sexual offence with a child under 16, and human trafficking.

An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a child under 16.

They were held after police raids on three properties on Tuesday.

All three have been bailed until a date in July, and a 17-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of rape in February has also been bailed until July.

The girls, aged 15 and 16 from Derbyshire and Oldham respectively, told officers about the abuse after police were looking at reasons why they went missing from home.

The arrests were made as part of Project Phoenix, aimed at tackling child sex exploitation in Greater Manchester.

Police Sergeant Tony Luker from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said: "The reason Project Phoenix was set up was to ensure vulnerable children are not taken advantage of and they are free from abuse.

"No child should go through the trauma of sexual exploitation and we are determined to protect children in the Greater Manchester area.

"I would ask those who are being abused to contact police as soon as possible. We have a team of specialist officers who can help victims through their ordeal and offer support. I would also ask if anyone knows of any abuse taking place to get in contact."


From Belfast Telegraph