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Boy, 16, among 27 arrested over child sexual exploitation in Bradford | UK News

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Twenty-seven people, including a 16-year-old boy, have been arrested in connection with online child sexual exploitation in Bradford.

West Yorkshire Police said safeguarding measures have been put in place for 26 children following reports of people suspected of being in possession of indecent material or trying to contact children.

Those arrested were all males between the ages of 16 and 57 and were from different addresses across the city.

They have since been released under investigation or bailed pending further inquiries.

More than 60 devices have been seized for further investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Weekes said: “Targeted operations like these demonstrate that we take the online sexual exploitation of children in Bradford district seriously and that we will take action against offenders and safeguard those children they have attempted to exploit.”

He also warned parents to regularly monitor their children’s devices, especially now that many are spending more time at home.

Adrian Farley, executive member for children and families at Bradford Metropolitan District Council, added: “It’s a good result that the police have made these arrests.

“It sends out a strong message to anyone thinking of committing these sorts of crimes that grooming children online will not be tolerated, particularly at this time when children are spending more time online because of the coronavirus lockdown.

“It also shows that when partners and the public let the police know of potential offences, action can and will be taken.”

The arrests follow an announcement by the National Crime Agency (NCA) that more than 120 cases of Zoom calls being hacked by strangers showing images of child abuse are being investigated.

The practice is said to have increased during the coronavirus pandemic as more people turn to video calls to talk to friends and colleagues.

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