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40 arrested in major inquiry into child sexual abuse in West Yorkshire
30 July 2021, 20:51
Forty people have been arrested as part of a major investigation into child sexual abuse in West Yorkshire between 1989 and 1999.
The arrests of 38 men and two women were part of Operation Teeford, an ongoing inquiry into the abuse of nine female victims in the district of Kirklees.
The alleged abuse is said to have occurred predominantly in the towns of Dewsbury and Batley, West Yorkshire Police said.
Twenty-seven of the arrests were made in the Kirklees district, with others made in Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield and two made outside the West Yorkshire Police area, the force said.
West Yorkshire Police said all of those arrested have been released on bail pending further inquiries.
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Thornes, who heads investigations into historic child sexual abuse 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."
He continued: "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."
Mr Thornes added: "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 kinds of offences."
West Yorkshire Police said the investigation is not connected to other historic child sexual abuse inquiries in the Kirklees area.