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13 February 2015, 06:52
Police say following investigations, there's no signs to show child exploitation is going on in Wisbech.
Officers wanted to see if it was a problem in Cambridgeshire - and to make sure the mistakes made by other authorities elsewhere in the country - could not be repeated in here.
The operation is being carried out by Cambridgeshire Police and Cambridgeshire County Council Social Care.
Wisbech's MP, Steve Barclay says, "It is positive that Cambridgeshire police have sought to learn the lessons from mistakes made elsewhere in the country on the horrific crime of child exploitation, and are working proactively to identify whether any problems exist in our county.
"Having discussed this issue with Supt Gary Ridgeway I am told there is no specific evidence of child exploitation in Wisbech, and the police were clear this operation could easily have been launched in any other market town in Cambridgeshire.
"Wisbech has been chosen because it allows lessons to be learnt from the Operation Pheasant multi-agency work on worker exploitation, it borders Norfolk and Lincolnshire enabling cross-county work, it has a diverse community, and because it has a new state of the art sexual health testing centre which I opened earlier this month.
"The operation has five police officers including a team leader and four specialist officers, working alongside a social worker and youth worker together with advice from the NSPCC. The operation will run for a minimum of six months.
"As a father with two young children I know how important it is to ensure children are protected. It is also important that all those in positions of authority learn the lessons from recent scandals regarding child safety.
Cambridgeshire Police deserve credit for taking the initiative and shining a spotlight on this issue. We need to ensure the full force of the law is used to prosecute offenders and use specialist expertise early to identify potential victims."