West Yorkshire Police have arrested 44 people as part of a major historic child abuse investigation detectives in Kirklees arrested 36 men and three women from addresses across Kirklees, Bradford and Leeds over the past fortnight.
Five other males were arrested at the end of last year in connection with the same investigation.All of the 44 people arrested have been interviewed and released under investigation.
The investigation centres on allegations made by four women of sexual abuse committed against them as children predominantly in the Dewsbury and Batley area of Kirklees between 1995 and 2002.
Detective Inspector Seth Robinson, leading the investigation, said: “Safeguarding and protecting children remains the top priority for West Yorkshire Police. We hope that these recent arrests reassure our local communities that we are wholly committed to tackling child sexual exploitation in Kirklees, both current and non-recent.
“Child sexual abuse and exploitation is an abhorrent and heinous crime and one which affects some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“West Yorkshire Police has specialist safeguarding units across each of the five Districts, which include police officers and detectives dedicated to dealing with both current and non-recent child abuse and child sexual exploitation.
“Tackling child abuse is not something that any one agency can do in isolation; we work closely with local authorities, other organisations and charities to support victims, bring the perpetrators to justice and make our communities safer.
“We would urge anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse, whether recent or historic, to report it to the police. Please be assured that you will be listened to, taken seriously and supported by professionals with experience of dealing with these kind of offences.”