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Men arrested in child sexual exploitation operation in lancashire
9:00am Saturday 14th September 2013 in News
Twenty two men have been arrested for child sex offences in a series of dawn raids.
The arrests came during a week of police activity aimed at tackling the sexual exploitation of children.
Raids were carried out throughout the week at addresses across the whole of the county, and those arrested included eight men from East Lancashire.
All of the men were held on suspicion of downloading indecent images of children, and have all been released on police bail pending further enquires.
Yesterday morning a 53-year-old man from Brierfield, a 20-year-old man from Rawtenstall and a 56-year-old man from Burnley were all been detained under the Protection of Children Act 1978 for offences related to the downloading of indecent images of children.
They were being questioned by detectives throughout the day.
During the week police also held a 56-year-old man from Blackburn, a 44-year-old Blackburn man, and a 47-year-old man from Blackburn.
A 35-year-old man from Oswaldtwisle and a 48-year-old man from Chorley were also detained in the raids.
Detective Superintendent Neil Esseen who heads up Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit, said: “This week we have executed 20 search warrants around the county which has resulted in the arrest of 22 people who we believe have been involved in receiving and distributing sexual images of children.
“A significant amount of work went into to preparing the evidence to satisy the court and executing a warrant.
“This operation has sent out a couple of messages, if you commit these offences we will come and find you and you will be brought to justice.
“But also the community need to be aware and vigilant. This is happening in our communities.
“If someone on your street doesn’t have children or access to children and suddently young girls and boys start turning up on their doorstep or driving around in their car, and nobody challenges it, it allows these crimes to flourish. It’s about neighbourliness, not nosiness.”
Police are encouraging anyone who has been, or knows someone who has been, sexually abused, groomed or exploited to come forward and contact police confident in the knowledge they will be dealt with sensitively and professionally.
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