Nine arrested in Oxford after child sexual exploitation dawn raids

Thames Valley Police Operation Sabaton Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption More than 100 officers from Thames Valley Police were involved in the early-morning operation

Eight men were arrested in a series of dawn raids in Oxford on suspicion of offences related to child sexual exploitation.

More than 100 police officers from Thames Valley Police carried out raids at eight properties across the city.

One more man, aged 34 and of no fixed abode, has since been arrested. About 60 incidents are being investigated.

Police said alleged offences included rape, sexual grooming and indecent assault on girls from 1999 to 2007.

Det Supt Joe Kidman described the raids at 06:00 BST as part of a "complex investigation".

The alleged offences all involve female victims.

The men arrested are aged between 29 and 45.

Searches are continuing at the addresses with neighbourhood patrols expected in the area throughout the day.

Thames Valley Police said that the arrests were part of "a stand-alone separate investigation" from Operation Bullfinch, in which seven men were jailed in June 2013 for crimes including child rape and trafficking.

"I understand today's events will have an impact on the community and residents will be concerned about the nature of these arrests," Det Supt Kidman said.

"This is an ongoing investigation. Tackling child sexual exploitation is an absolute priority for Thames Valley Police and this complex investigation and arrests today demonstrate this.

"We would encourage all victims of child sexual exploitation to come forward and speak to us in confidence. We will listen to you and we will support you."

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Searches are expected to continue at the addresses across Oxford where arrests were made
Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Officers were briefed ahead of the raids at 06:00 BST

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