ABOVE: Polics have swooped on a Bradford based child sex ring
TEN grooming suspects have been arrested over claims that they used a 14-year-old girl in a vile sex ring.
Armed officers swooped on the men, all of Asian origin, after the teenager told detectives she had been sexually assaulted.
Police raided homes in Bradford and nearby Keighley, West Yorks. The men have been released on bail pending further inquiries.
An investigation has now been launched into possible links with the depraved gang caged in May for a total of 76 years for raping and abusing up to 47 girls.
Nine men, including the ring-leader from nearby Rochdale, were jailed but detectives are hunting more than 40 other suspected gang members.
A senior police source said last night: “At this stage it is unclear if the latest arrests have any connection with the last high-profile convictions.
“But detectives certainly cannot rule it out as there are more suspects still believed to be at large.”
The victims are plied with alcohol and lured to takeaways before being passed around for sex.
It is not the first time police have had complaints from young girls in Keighley, now seen as a dangerous child sex grooming hotspot.
Community leaders in Keighley, including the town’s MP and councillors, were briefed by police about the operation on Wednesday.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire police said: “There were ten arrests made across the Bradford district on suspicion of serious sexual offences. All ten have been bailed. Because it is an ongoing investig-ation the force cannot disclose further information at this time.”
Eight of those arrested are understood to be from Keighley and two from Bradford.
Keighley Central Labour councillor Abid Hussain said: “The police have done what they should be doing in arresting these people. It is disappointing but I fully support the police and will work with them.”
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said: “I was made aware that it was a serious operation and I was grateful for that information. I want the police to be able to carry out their investigation fully and to make sure that a fair process is put in place to let justice prevail.”
Last month, West Yorkshire’s chief constable Sir Norman Bettison warned that grooming children for sex was a growing problem that cut across all communities.
He met Muslim community leaders at a summit to tackle the problem.
Mr Bettison said: “I believe there is a problem that is very widespread, not just in Yorkshire, not just within the Muslim or Asian community, but there are girls who are vulnerable and those vulner-abilities are more and more often these days exploited.
“What these cases have done is they have shone a light on this type of exploitation.
“West Yorkshire Police is determined to ruthlessly pursue anyone who is committing criminal exploitation and bring them before the courts. It’s very important we have the support of the community.”