ARRESTS have been made in Bradford as part of a major investigation into historic child sex abuse in West Yorkshire over the past fortnight.

Three women and 36 men have been arrested by detectives investigating allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse, from addresses in Bradford, Leeds and across Kirklees.

Five other men were arrested at the end of 2018 in connection to the same investigation, and all 44 people have been interviewed and released under investigation.

The age range of the people arrested spans from 39 to 81, weith the abuse being allegedly committed between 17 and 24 years ago.

The investigation centres on allegations sexual abuse made by four women, committed against them when they were children aged 12 to 16 between 1995 and 2002, predominantly in the Dewsbury and Batley areas.

Detective Inspector Seth Robinson, who is leading the investigation, said: “Safeguarding and protecting children remains the top priority for West Yorkshire Police.

"We hope that these recent arrests reassure our local communities that we are wholly committed to tackling child sexual exploitation, both current and non-recent.

“Child sexual abuse and exploitation is an abhorrent and heinous crime and one which affects some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

“West Yorkshire Police has specialist safeguarding units across each of the five Districts, which include police officers and detectives dedicated to dealing with both current and non-recent child abuse and child sexual exploitation.

“Tackling child abuse is not something that any one agency can do in isolation; we work closely with local authorities, other organisations and charities to support victims, bring the perpetrators to justice and make our communities safer.

“We would urge anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse, whether recent or historic, to report it to the police.

"Please be assured that you will be listened to, taken seriously and supported by professionals with experience of dealing with these kind of offences.”