Child sex exploitation crackdown across Manchester sees 11 arrested

Eleven people have been arrested in a mass crackdown on child sexual exploitation (CSE) in South Manchester.

Six warrants have been executed and eleven people aged between 19 and 38 have been arrested.

These are for a number of offences including sexual activity with a child, attempted indecent assault, inciting a child into prostitution, abduction and rape. 

Detective Inspector Debbie Oakes of the Greater Manchester Police’s Protect Team, said: “Tackling child sexual exploitation and those responsible for such heinous crimes is an absolute priority for us. 

“I want to assure our communities that combatting CSE is a force priority for GMP and we would encourage anyone who is a victim of this kind of abuse to come to either us, a family member or the charities and support agencies who are out there and help us bring the offenders to justice.”

The arrests come as part of Operation Heliodor, which was launched to combat CSE and is part of Project Phoenix – the multi-agency campaign tackling CSE across Greater Manchester. 

The team covers both Salford and Manchester and is made up of police, children’s services, health services, and Barnardos.

Detective Inspector Oakes added: “The Protect Team provides a holistic approach to CSE, along with effective disruption tactics to identified perpetrators linked to children at risk of CSE. 

“We have forged strong links with our partner agencies, including Barnardo’s and NSPCC, and by effective safeguarding and partnership disruption of perpetrators, we can tackle this problem head on. 

“We listen to the children and put them at the heart of our investigations and tactics, to ensure their safety and wellbeing is at the forefront of everything we do. 

“Operation Heliodor is ongoing and, with this collaborative approach we will continue to target those involved in CSE. I fully anticipate more warrants and arrests as we continue in our investigation.”

The arrests came after months of intervention by the Protect team, into the sexual exploitation of girls and its links to organised crime in and around the Longsight area, and other areas within Greater Manchester. 

The arrests come a month after intervention by the Protect team, who have looked into the sexual exploitation of girls and links to organised crime in and around the Longsight area, and other areas within Greater Manchester. 

It is just a week since action was taken to help prevent child sexual exploitation and raise awareness of the issue in Greater Manchester and the launch of the campaign – ‘It’s not Okay’.

The campaign hopes to protect children at risk by increasing people’s understanding of child sexual exploitation and how to spot the warning signs of CSE. 

Lynn Perry MBE, regional director for Barnardo’s in the west said: “We are pleased to be at the heart of an inter-agency partnership in Greater Manchester tackling child sexual exploitation; supporting and enabling young people to speak out and providing child victims of sexual exploitation with appropriate, long term support.”

Anyone who is concerned about a child or young person should call Greater Manchester Police on 101 or 999 in emergencies, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Or email the Protect team at [email protected] or call 0161 226 4196.

Image courtesy of Niko Si, with thanks

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