Dawn raids across Manchester as
police move in on gang who groomed under-age girls at drug-fuelled sex
Dozens of vulnerable teenage
girls may have been rescued from the clutches of a paedophiles after a
major police operation smashed a child sex gang.
Around 100 officers swooped on
houses in a series of raids yesterday arresting 10 men suspected of
grooming young girls for sex.
The victims were allegedly
showered with gifts and then plied with drink and drugs before being
taken to special 'sex parties' in Manchester and Salford.
A mattress is taken away from one of the
homes raided as part of Operation Windermere
The mattress is hauled into a police
forensics van where it will be analysed by officers
At the parties the teenage
girls – some as young as 14 - would be compelled to have sex with
friends of the gang in what police say was a classic case of ‘sexual
grooming and entrapment.’ Last night the men, all aged between 18-28,
were being questioned by detectives at a number of different police
stations across the North West.
They are the latest in a wave
of arrests carried out by police investigating gangs of Asian men
grooming underage white girls for sex.
A string of disturbing cases
in the Midlands and north of England prompted the launch of a
nationwide investigation to look into the phenomenon.
In January Former Home
Secretary Jack Straw was accused of ‘stereotyping after suggesting some
men of Pakistani origin see white girls as ‘easy meat’.
Last night police were
confident they had smashed yet another alleged gang after arresting the
10 men – seven Asian, two white and one black – on suspected child sex
The arrests in Manchester,
Salford and Buxton come after a major three-month inquiry into the
sexual exploitation of a number of girls.
Detectives say at least 39
underage girls have been spoken to, either as suspected victims or
witnesses, as part of the major probe.
It is understood a only six or
seven alleged sex gang victims have been identified but detectives
believe the true number runs into dozens.
Police say the alleged victims
had been groomed by the older men who bought them meals or took them
out for all-expenses-paid nights out.
The girls were understood to
have been lured off the street with promises of cannabis, amphetamines,
jewellery, new pairs of trainers and trips out to fast food restaurants.
After four of five weeks of
'affection and flattery', it is claimed, gang members would then ask
for sex often after first giving the girls drink and drugs.
It is understood the girls –
all aged around 14 and upwards - would also be taken to the 'sex
parties' at flats and houses, where they would be ‘handed out’ to other
Detectives say they were
allegedly targeted by the gang because they have either been in care or
are from troubled family backgrounds.
Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney
briefs the press after today's arrests
Officers are briefed for the series of
raids that were carried out this morning. The investigation involved
around 100 detectives
The police investigation was
launched after a number of girls in Stockport alerted social workers
claiming they were being abused.
Assistant Chief Constable
Terry Sweeney of Greater Manchester Police said: ‘It is alleged the
girls were groomed by individuals who then passed the girls on to
friends. It was classic grooming - providing alcohol, drugs and free
food, consequently leading to sexual entrapment.
‘I hope today's action shows
people that the issue of sexual exploitation is one that we take
extremely seriously.’ And he has appealed for help in combating sex
gangs who prey on vulnerable young girls and commit ‘horrific’ abuse.
He said: ‘'These young people
are very much often left out of society in some way and were craving
care and love. It seems they were provided with food and love,
McDonalds food and drugs.
Search: A suited forensics officer leaves
the address in the Mosside area of Manchester where the raid took place
The raids were part of a three-month
investigation into the exploitation of teenage girls
‘I think the abuse can be
stopped by the community working with us and telling us what is going
on. If you see young males talking girls into flats and houses we would
like the public to tell us about it.’ In January a gang of eight Asian
men from Rochdale was arrested accused of targeting more than a dozen
underage white girls with drink and drugs before turning them into sex
Last week they were charged of
a variety of offences relating to sexual activity with girls under 16,
rape, child prostitution and child trafficking.
Figures shows there have been
18 sex gang prosecutions since 1997 - 15 in the last three years -
involving girls aged 11-16.
Last year a middle-class,
privately-educated schoolgirl - also from Rochdale - was rescued after
being forced to act as a sex slave to a gang of Asian men.
The troubled 14-year-old was
targeted with vodka and cigarettes after being spotted by the gang
wandering the streets.
She was made to have sex with
a string of men before being pimped out as a white under age prostitute
in Manchester city centre..
Nine men - all Asian - were
later jailed after admitting a series of serious sexual offences
against the teenage girl including facilitating child prostitution.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2003317/Manchester-Polices-early-morning-raids-target-sexual-exploitation-teenage-girls.html#ixzz1PNkv8XAy