Exploitation probe sees teen arrested

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A teenager has been bailed following a police investigation into sexual exploitation in Blackpool.

A 16-year-old boy and a 34-year-old man have both been released on bail after being questioned by officers over sexual activity with a teenage boy – and police today said there may be more young victims.

Detective Inspector Gareth Willis

Detective Inspector Gareth Willis

Police swooped on several addresses in the resort, questioning the pair as part of their investigations.

The 16-year-old was arrested on suspicion of inciting sexual activity with a child and the 34-year-old was arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a child.

The pair were arrested from an address in Blackpool yesterday morning and have now been bailed until January 29 pending further enquiries.

Officers searched four addresses in Blackpool – Springfield Road, Banks Street, Salcombe Avenue and Lord Street – as well as one in Gorton, Greater Manchester, as part of the investigation.

Det Insp Gareth Willis, of Blackpool Police, said: “We are investigating the possibility that there could potentially be other victims who have not yet felt able to report anything to the police.

“I want to use this opportunity to encourage anyone who feels they have been a victim of sexual exploitation to come forward and report it, and be reassured that they will be dealt with sensitively and professionally and that they will receive all the support they need from us as well as our partners.

“People will have their own reasons for not coming forward, it might be a degree of being scared, they might be embarrassed – who knows.

“What we say is that if people don’t come forward they are not going to get closure and the justice they want.”

Officers searched four addresses in Blackpool – Springfield Road, Banks Street, Salcombe Avenue and Lord Street – as well as one in Gorton, Greater Manchester as part of the investigation.

Det Insp Willis added: “Child sexual exploitation victims or anyone with information regarding this investigation must come forward.”

Community information led to arrests in resort

The arrest of two people, one a 16-year-old boy, in an investigation into the sexual exploitation of a teenage boy came as a result of information given to police from the community.

Det Insp Gareth Willis said: “We are thankful to the community for the information it gave us. We are always aware there is more out there that they can tell us.

“Tackling child sexual exploitation is one of the constabulary’s top priorities.” Anyone with information can call police on 101.

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