23 June 2016
National Crime Agency officers this morning arrested two men in Rotherham and Sheffield in connection with an investigation into non-familial child sexual exploitation and abuse in the town between 1997-2013, Operation Stovewood.
The men have been taken to a police station in South Yorkshire where they will be interviewed.
One man was arrested in Rotherham on suspicion of indecent assault. The offence is believed to have taken place against a girl aged under 16.
The second man was arrested in Sheffield on suspicion of sexual assault. The offence is believed to have taken place against a different girl, also aged under 16.
No further information about the people arrested is being provided. Operation Stovewood is on-going.
Operation Stovewood has now made a total of three arrests. A man arrested on Wednesday 8 June on suspicion of rape, drug offences and assault, was interviewed and released on bail until November while investigations continue.
Operation Stovewood currently has 30 designated suspects. It has prioritised making contact with 83 victims and survivors so far. There are currently eight distinct major investigations within the overall investigation.
- Stovewood is the largest on-going law-enforcement investigation into non-familial CSEA in the UK at this time.
- The investigation has, so far, been divided into eight specific major investigations, reflecting its scale and complexity. Further distinct investigations are likely to be added. We are not providing updates on individual investigations at this time for operational reasons.
- The investigation team have collated, analysed and electronically recorded 16 years of material from local agencies (police, council, health) never before collated – in excess of 120,000 documents.
- The investigation has prioritised making contact with 83 victims and survivors, linked to the either priority investigations, recognising that this is only a small percentage (5%) of the overall potential number of victims and survivors in Rotherham.
- Victims and survivors interviewed are providing a substantial amount of information to the investigation. Victim interviews can take many weeks or months to arrange and often have to be conducted over a number of weeks. One victim Stovewood interviewed has provided information about nine further victims, 17 witnesses and 40 potential suspects. This demonstrates the scale and complexity of sexual abuse under investigation.
- The investigation has recorded 91 serious sexual offences (crimes) from interviews with victims and survivors so far.
- There are currently 30 designated suspects and hundreds more ‘potential suspects’ against who information and intelligence is still being developed
- The investigation currently has 10,130 lines to enquiry to pursue.
Update on 24 June 2016:
The two men arrested on 23 June have been bailed pending further enquiries.