child grooming
The arrests come after 27 men and two women were charged over child sex abuse in the Huddersfield area earlier this year Getty

Police investigating allegations of historic child abuse by grooming gangs in the Huddersfield area have arrested 16 more people, including one woman.

All suspects were arrested from addresses in Huddersfield and Bradford during a three-day policing operation this week.

They have been interviewed and released pending further inquiries, West Yorkshire police said on Thursday (20 July).

The investigation centres on allegations made by multiple women who said they were sexually abused as children.

The alleged abuse was predominantly carried out in the Huddersfield area between 2004 and 2011.

This is the second batch of arrests made in connection with the allegations.

Some 29 defendants were charged with rape, sexual assault and human trafficking earlier this year in relation to 18 children. They are due to stand trial next year.

Chief Inspector Ian Mottershaw, who is leading the investigation, said: "This ongoing investigation forms part of West Yorkshire Police's commitment to the investigation of both current and non-recent sexual offences against children. These are abhorrent crimes that affect the most vulnerable in our society.

"Protecting children and ensuring that victims are put at the heart of everything we do is a top priority for the Force. We have specialist safeguarding units in each of our five policing districts, which include officers dedicated to dealing with both current and historic child abuse and child sexual exploitation.

"Tackling child abuse is not something that any one agency can do in isolation though which is why we work closely with local authorities and other organisations and charities to support victims, bring offenders 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."