This morning, police arrested 8 men in High Wycombe for alleged sexual exploitation of a young girl over a number of years. She is still under 18. A detailed statement has been released by Thames Valley Police. Further information is available on the Thames Valley Police Facebook page.
The alleged offences are utterly vile and all decent people will join in condemning them. I wish Thames Valley Police and the Crown Prosecution Service every success in securing just convictions of the guilty and long sentences.
I am grateful to Superintendent Houalla and the team at Wycombe police station for holding a briefing this morning with a diverse group of prominent citizens. Leaders from across the town were united in insisting that our young and vulnerable children must be defended from abuse. We agreed to stand together against criminality of this disgusting kind irrespective of the ethnicity of the accused. It must not be forgotten that the UK has learned by bitter experience over the past weeks, months and years that paedophilia is not confined to any one segment of society.
Our first concern must be for the victim in this case and any further victims who have not yet come forward. I would urge victims of sexual exploitation and anyone with relevant information to speak to the Police on the Operation Ribbon hotline: 01296 396396. Also:
- If you are worried about somebody who you think may be a victim of child exploitation, you can call ChildLine on 0800 11 11 or visit their website www.childline.org.uk.
- If you are resident in Thames Valley and you have any information about this type of crime, you can contact Thames Valley Police on the non-emergency number 101.
- If you don’t want to speak to police and don’t want to leave your name, contact the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.
- (Update) Victims now aged 16 or over may wish to call Rape Crisis (Wycombe, Chiltern & South Buckinghamshire) on 01494 462222.
You can view updates about the operation or ask questions by following TVP_Wycombe on Twitter.