Four arrested on suspicion of child exploitation offences

17:15 13 December 2012

Four men were arrested this morning accused of child sexual exploitation offences as the Met Police carried out raids in London.

Officers from the Met’s trafficking and prostitution unit swooped on addresses in Barking, Newham, Waltham Forest and Redbridge shortly after 7am and arrested the four – all in their early to mid twenties – in coordinated raids.

A 25-year-old from Barking was arrested on suspicion of trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation, controlling a child prostitute, facilitating/attempting to facilitate child prostitution and rape.

A 25-year-old, from Newham was arrested on suspicion of trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation and controlling a child prostitute.

A Romford man, aged 23, was arrested on suspicion of rape and another 23-year-old from Leyton on suspicion of sexual touching of a female, controlling a child prostitute and conspiracy to traffick a female within the UK for sexual exploitation.

The operation came after four victims, all aged between 16 and 18 at the time of the offences, were identified by the unit.

Det Insp Kevin Hyland said: “The victims we have identified so far were all young and vulnerable individuals. Their abusers targeted them for this reason.

“We are working with Essex social services and other service providers to ensure that all victims we identify during our investigation receive the care and support that they need.”

The officers were acting on intelligence from Essex Police.

All four men are currently in custody at an east London police station.

Victims of child trafficking and prostitution or anyone with information is urged to call the Met’s 24-hour helpline on 0800 7832589 or the NSPCC hotline on 0800 1111.

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