Arrests in Banbury child sexual exploitation raids

Police briefing before raids
Image caption About 120 Thames Valley Police officers executed warrants in Banbury and Birmingham

Seven men have been arrested in raids at properties in Oxfordshire as part of an operation related to child sexual exploitation.

About 120 Thames Valley Police officers executed warrants at 10 properties in Banbury, as well as one in Birmingham.

The men were arrested on suspicion of rape and other offences relating to three females between 2008 and 2015.

Det Supt Paul Hayles called it a "complex investigation into non-recent child sexual exploitation" in the town.

He added: "Following the arrests we are continuing to work with our partners to safeguard and support the victims."

'Appear concerning'

The raids on Tuesday morning are part of what the police are calling Operation Nautical.

The men arrested are aged between 21 and 42 and remain in custody.

Supt Kath Lowe, local police area commander for Banbury, said: "The nature of these arrests may appear concerning and I understand that people may have questions about them.

"Because this is an ongoing investigation, we will not be able to provide all the information straight away, but we will keep the community updated when we can."

There is an increased police presence in the area following the arrests.

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