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Five arrested over Rotherham child sexual exploitation

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  • Rotherham child abuse scandal
image copyrightGeograph/Ian S
image captionTo date, nearly 140 people have been arrested as part of Operation Stovewood, with 20 convicted and sentenced to jail terms totalling 248 years
Five men have been arrested in connection with allegations of child sexual abuse relating to four girls in Rotherham.
The offences are alleged to have taken place about 20 years ago, when the girls were aged between 11 and 16.
National Crime Agency (NCA) officers working as part of Operation Stovewood made the arrests over the course of three days last week.
Four of the men live in Rotherham, while the fifth lives in Leeds.
The men, aged between 38 and 50, were questioned by police then released while investigations continue.
Philip Marshall, Operation Stovewood senior investigating officer, said: "Our priority in all these investigations is to support victims, and I'd urge anyone who was the victim of child sexual abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 to come and speak to us in the strictest of confidence.
"We will do all we can to support you".
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South Yorkshire Police asked the NCA to lead an independent investigation in 2015, following a report by Professor Alexis Jay in 2014 which found the abuse had been ignored by agencies.
Stovewood is the largest law enforcement investigation into non-familial child sexual abuse in the UK.
Police said victims or witnesses who might have information to help investigations can find contact details on the NCA website.
In May the NCA said inquiries had been restricted by Covid-19 but it was working "tirelessly" to support victims.
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