Police hold sex abuse gang suspects

Bicester Advertiser: Eight men have been arrested by Thames Valley Police on suspicion of committing sexual offences against a girl Eight men have been arrested by Thames Valley Police on suspicion of committing sexual offences against a girl

Suspected members of a sex abuse gang have been arrested in a series of police raids.

Thames Valley Police said a girl claimed she was abused between 2007 and 2012, and they believe there might be other victims who have fallen prey to the same group.

Officers made a number of arrests in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, targeting people suspected of child sexual exploitation.

Detective Chief Inspector Vince Grey said: "In terms of child exploitation, the general premise is there will be a number of victims.

"With this particular victim, she's mainly discussed actions involving herself, not going into any great details in terms of other persons, but we believe in terms of what she told us that there will be other victims."

The force is appealing for other potential victims to come forward.

Mr Grey praised the girl, who is under 18, for having the courage to speak to police. "She's been extremely brave and courageous in coming forward in the first place; obviously we can't imagine what she and other victims have gone through," he said. "She's come forward and she's indicated what offending has happened to her, who's been involved in that, and over what time period."

The force believes that victims may have been groomed - when abusers make friends with potential victims - by members of the gang. Mr Grey said: "You enter the grooming stage first, obviously grooming is a specific offence. One stream can develop into where we are now, when that process has taken place and that turns into an abusive relationship of some sort, which can lead to much more damaging exploitation and sexual offences taking place."

The suspects were identified from the girl's account along with additional investigation, Mr Grey said.

The force said officers arrested eight men aged between 21 and 28 - one aged 20, three aged 21, two aged 22, one aged 26 and one aged 28. They were all held on suspicion of committing sexual offences against a girl.

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