Men arrested in connection with child sexual exploitation offences after police raids in Banbury and Birmingham

Officers from Operation Nautical being briefed ahead of raids on properties. NNL-170328-130408001

Officers from Operation Nautical being briefed ahead of raids on properties. NNL-170328-130408001

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Seven men have been arrested in connection with child sexual exploitation offences after police officers raided properties in Banbury and Birmingham this morning, Tuesday.

Around 120 uniformed officers executed warrants at 10 properties in Banbury and one in Birmingham.

The offences relate to three female victims in Banbury between 2008 and 2015. The men arrested were aged between 21 and 42.

Following today’s arrests, Det Supt Paul Hayles, head of Force CID, said: “This morning, our officers executed search warrants at 11 properties as part of Operation Nautical.

“This is a complex investigation into non-recent child sexual exploitation in Banbury which has been undertaken by Thames Valley Police Force CID.

“Following the arrests we are continuing to work with our partners to safeguard and support the victims.”

Local Police Area Commander for Banbury, Supt Kath Lowe, said: “The nature of these arrests may appear concerning and I understand that people may have questions about them. Because this is an ongoing investigation, we will not be able to provide all the information straight away, but we will keep the community updated when we can.

“Tackling child sexual exploitation, both non recent and current, remains an absolute priority for Thames Valley Police and this complex investigation and today’s arrests demonstrate this.

“The news of these warrants today could remind people of something that has happened to them in the past which they wish to report to us.

“I would like to reassure you that we will listen to you and we will support you. There will be more officers on the streets following these warrants so please speak to them if you have any concerns.”

If anyone has any concerns at all about offences relating to child sexual exploitation, especially if they are a victim or know someone who may be, they should contact Thames Valley Police on the 24-hour non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or visit their website.

Information about CSE is available for parents and carers on https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/protecting-yourself-and-others/child-sexual-exploitation/.

This includes information about the signs to look out for that may suggest a child is a potential victim of CSE, and advice about what to do if there are any concerns.