Cumbria

Barrow Asian grooming gang investigation finds 'no evidence'

Det Ch Supt Dean Holden Image copyright Cumbria Constabulary
Image caption Det Chief Supt Dean Holden said the allegations had not been "ignored or otherwise dismissed"

A year-long operation failed to find evidence of Asian grooming gangs in a Cumbria town, police have said.

In a video statement, a senior officer said claims of abuse or exploitation in Barrow had "not been corroborated" during the probe.

The clip was a response to a social media post in which a teenager said she had been sexually assaulted.

Det Ch Supt Dean Holden said the initial operation had been subjected to a voluntary review.

In March, the independent peer review made "minor recommendations" but concluded the 12-month investigation had been "conducted with the utmost integrity, transparency and professionalism", Det Ch Supt Holden said.

"So I want to reassure people that this is not something that we'd ignored or otherwise dismissed," he said.

"When a question is asked, is there an organised gang of Asian men in Barrow conducting abuse or otherwise exploitation against individuals, our investigation has shown that that has not been corroborated or otherwise evidenced."

Following the earlier operation, last month a 19-year-old woman from Barrow was charged with seven counts of perverting the course of justice and released on bail.

She was subsequently arrested on Wednesday for breaching her bail conditions and has been remanded in custody.

Follow BBC North East & Cumbria on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Send your story ideas to northeastandcumbria@bbc.co.uk.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites