LONDON (AP) — Police in northern England say they have arrested 44 people in connection with allegations of child sex abuse between 1995 and 2002.
West Yorkshire Police said in a statement Friday that 36 men and 3 women were arrested across the towns of Kirklees, Bradford and Leeds over the last two weeks. Five other men were arrested at the end of last year over the same investigation.
Police said all 44 have been interviewed and released under investigation, which centers on allegations made by four women of sexual abuse committed against them as children mainly in the Dewsbury and Batley area of Kirklees.
Detective Inspector Seth Robinson, who is leading the investigation, said protecting children remains the force’s “top priority” and hopes the arrests “reassure our local communities.”