Buxton arrest in sex gang probe

A man was arrested in Buxton on Tuesday by police investigating organised child sexual exploitation.

The arrest was one of number made in a joint operation by officers from Greater Manchester Police Major Incident Team (MIT) and Stockport Division in connection with an investigation into organised crime groups.

Focusing chiefly on child sexual exploitation, the ongoing investigation involves around 100 detectives and is one of the largest ever carried out by the Serious Crime Division.

A total of 12 men were arrested at various locations which as well as Buxton included addresses in Cheetham Hill, Fallowfield, Levenshulme, Moss Side and Chorlton-on-Medlock.

They were all arrested on suspicion of trafficking within the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation and have now all been bailed pending further enquiries.

The arrests were the result of a three-month inquiry into the sexual exploitation of a number of vulnerable teenage girls from Stockport by men.

Assistant Chief Constable of GMP Terry Sweeney said he hoped that the actions taken would show that the issue of sexual exploitation was one that the police took extremely seriously.

“This is the largest ever operation carried out by the Major Incident Team and we have had dozens of detectives, including a team from Stockport, working on this investigation.

“It is believed there could ultimately be more victims in this case and officers now want to hear from anyone else who thinks they may have been sexually exploited.

“I want to reassure the people of Greater Manchester that we have a number of operations currently targeting this kind of criminal behaviour.

“I cannot go into details as that could jeopardise the operations, but people need to know this issue is at the top of GMP’s priorities.”

Assistant Chief Constable Sweeney said police worked closely with local authorities, and other organisations such as Barnardos, to address the specific issue of adults befriending and grooming younger people for sex.