Thirty-three men have been arrested in relation to allegations of sexual abuse against a child in Halifax, West Yorkshire, between 2002 and 2005.
All men, now aged between 30 and 40, have been released under investigation, whilst homes in the West Yorkshire borough of Calderdale, where Halifax is located, Kirklees, and Bradford are being searched, reports the Halifax Courier.
Police said Monday the multiple arrests across the region were part of an ongoing operation that began in October 2018.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said, “The investigation centres on allegations made by one woman of sexual abuse committed against her as a child predominantly in the Halifax area between 2002 and 2005.”
Detective Inspector Laura Nield, of Calderdale District Safeguarding, said, “Protecting and safeguarding children is a top priority for the force and this operation forms part of West Yorkshire Police’s ongoing commitment to investigating both current and non-recent sexual offences against children.
“These crimes affect the most vulnerable in our society and are truly heinous crimes.
“We have specialist safeguarding units in each of our five policing districts, which include officers dedicated to investigating and dealing with both current and non-recent child sexual exploitation.
“Tackling child abuse is not something the police can do alone, and we continue to work closely with local authorities, charities and other organisations to support victims and bring offenders to justice.
“All our investigations are victim-led and the long-term well-being of those victims is of paramount importance.
“We would urge anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse, no matter when it took place, to report it to the police.
“You will be listened to, taken seriously and supported by professionals with experience of dealing with these kinds of offences.”
In January, West Yorkshire Police confirmed they had arrested 55 men in Dewsbury, Batley, and Bradford over a number of months in connection to the alleged sexual abuse of seven female children from the Kirklees area between 2002 and 2009. All of the men were released under investigation.