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2 April 2015, 10:48
Seven men are being questioned by Dorset Police on suspicion of child sexual exploitation offences.
Officers made the arrests in East Dorset on 1 April after three investigations and partnership with schools, the NHS and social services.
The men aged between 18 and 24 years old, were arrested on suspicion of a range of alleged offences which include; causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, supply of a controlled drug, sexual activity with a child, causing a child to watch or look at an image of sexual activity and facilitating the commission of child offences.
The day of action and arrests are the result of three separate ongoing investigations and partnership working with Social Services, the NHS, Education and various specialist units throughout Dorset Police.
Detective Inspector Neil Phillips, of the CSE Investigation Team, said:
"Following information passed on to us by schools and social workers, our skilled officers gathered intelligence on the suspected perpetrators leading to their positive identification and location.
"Four girls aged between 14 and 16 years old have now been safeguarded and multi-agency work is now ongoing to ensure they continue to be safe.
"No charges have been made at this time and our investigations are ongoing."
In September 2014 a team was formed in Dorset to investigate significant risk cases of CSE.
Police say there are many signs that a child may be at risk. These include drug or alcohol misuse, sexual health issues and sexualised behaviour, sudden access to money or new things, self-harm, change in appearance, change in temperament, low self-esteem, unexplained injuries, criminality, older friends and acquaintances and repeatedly going missing, absent or truant.
Detective Inspector Neil Phillips continued:
"CSE is a public protection priority everywhere. Members of the public, retailers and those in service industries such as taxi drivers, hoteliers and food outlets can help safeguard children at risk by looking out for signs of vulnerability and abuse.
"We encourage everyone from all walks of life to think, spot and speak out. There is a responsibility on everyone in society to do all they can to protect vulnerable people. Together, we can work to inform, educate and prevent this form of child abuse.
"We are resolute in our determination to identify perpetrators of CSE and bring them to justice."
If you have any concerns that a child you know may be a victim of Child Sexual Exploitation report it to Dorset Police on 101 or in an emergency 999 and make an immediate report.
You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Local Authority Children’s Social Care:
Bournemouth: 01202 456900
Poole: 01202 735046