West Yorkshire Police have arrested 44 people over historical allegations of child sex abuse.
36 men and 3 women from addresses across Kirklees, Bradford and Leeds have been detained over the last two weeks in connection with the the alleged abuse of young girls between 1995 and 2002.
Five other men were arrested at the end of last year in connection with the same investigation
The Independent reports: The suspects, who are aged between 39 and 81, have been interviewed and released under investigation.
The complainants were aged between 12 and 16 at the time.
Detective Inspector Seth Robinson said: “Safeguarding and protecting children remains the top priority for West Yorkshire Police. We hope that these recent arrests reassure our local communities that we are wholly committed to tackling child sexual exploitation in Kirklees, both current and non-recent.
“Child sexual abuse and exploitation is an abhorrent and heinous crime and one which affects some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”
Det Insp Robinson also said police could not tackle child abuse in “isolation” and were working with councils and charities to support victims and bring perpetrators to justice.
“We would urge anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse, whether recent or historic, to report it to the police,” he added. “Please be assured that you will be listened to, taken seriously and supported by professionals with experience of dealing with these kind of offences.”
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