Fifty-five men have been arrested in connection with an investigation into allegations of child sex abuse in Kirklees, West Yorkshire.
West Yorkshire Police is looking into allegations made by seven women of sexual abuse committed against them as children, predominantly in the Dewsbury and Batley area, between 2002 and 2009.
The men were detained “over the last few months”, police said and have been interviewed and released under investigation.
Detective Inspector Ian Thornes, leading the investigation, said: “Safeguarding and protecting children remains the top priority for West Yorkshire Police. This investigation demonstrates the Force’s ongoing commitment to the investigation of both current and non-recent sexual offences against children.
“Child sexual abuse and exploitation is an abhorrent and heinous crime and one which affects some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“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.”
In a separate case last August, West Yorkshire Police charged 31 people with offences, including rape and trafficking, after an investigation into sexual offences against children in the nearby Huddersfield area.
Police said the five alleged victims were girls aged between 12 and 18, with the offences said to have occurred between 2005 and 2012.