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Seven held in exploitation probe

Seven people have been arrested as part of an investigation into child sexual exploitation.

Six men and a 16-year-old boy are being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to commit sexual acts with a child.

The arrests took place following raids today in the Rochdale and Oldham areas.

The investigation is being led by Sunrise, Rochdale's multi-agency child sexual exploitation (CSE) team.

Police said the suspects, aged between 16 and 47, were of mixed ethnicity.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Aston said: "The Sunrise team were initially looking at reasons why the children - two girls aged 15 and 13 and a 13-year-old boy - were going missing from home. Officers spoke to one of the girls who suggested they were being groomed between 16 September and 17 October 2014.

"A swift investigation was launched and agencies worked together which has resulted in these arrests across the Rochdale and Oldham areas plus the safeguarding of three vulnerable children."

Paul Marshall, assistant director for children's social care at Rochdale Borough Council, said: "The success of Operation Infrared means that three vulnerable children are now safe and seven people have been arrested as part of this investigation.

"This type of multi-agency work exemplifies the best practice highlighted by Ofsted during their recent inspection of our response to CSE, and the work being carried out across Greater Manchester through Project Phoenix."


From Belfast Telegraph