Manchester

Nine arrested in teenager sex exploitation inquiry

Nine men have been arrested as part of a police investigation into sexual exploitation of teenage girls in Greater Manchester.

They were held on suspicion of rape, inciting child prostitution, allowing a premises to be used for prostitution and sexual activity with a child.

The Asian men, aged between 20 and 40 from Rochdale and Heywood, were arrested on 21 December.

They have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

The arrests were the result of an inquiry launched in 2008 into the sexual exploitation of teenage girls.

A Greater Manchester Police (GMP) statement read: "It is our policy not to confirm the ethnicity of people arrested unless it is relevant to the crime - in this case it isn't."

'Vulnerable children'

Ch Sup John O'Hare, from GMP, said: "I hope this action shows the communities of Rochdale that we take the issue of sexual exploitation of children extremely seriously.

"This is an extremely complex investigation and the welfare of the victims is absolutely paramount.

"Both GMP and Rochdale Council have working strategies in place to combat child exploitation and will work together to prosecute people who target vulnerable children and young people.

"Child sex exploitation is something that parents and carers everywhere should be aware of.

"Parents and carers should talk to their children, take an interest in what they are doing and warn them not to go off with strangers, no matter how tempting it might seem.

"We have shown that people who do exploit children will be investigated."

Last week, following an unrelated case, the former Home Secretary, Jack Straw, caused controversy when he said some Pakistani men saw white girls as an easy target for sexual abuse.

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