Operation Bullfinch Oxford
Twelve men arrested in Operation Bullfinch probe into child sex trafficking in Oxford Reuters

Police in Oxford have arrested 12 men after an investigation into child exploitation offences.

Police said the men, aged between 21 and 37, were arrested on suspicion of a variety of offences including causing the prostitution of females under the age of 18, rape, administering drugs for the purpose of rape, trafficking and grooming.

Thames Valley Police believe the offences took place over a six-year period.

The arrests are part of Operation Bullfinch, an investigation into the alleged exploitation of 24 girls aged between 11 and 16 in Oxford.

Det Supt Rob Mason said: "We believe we have uncovered an organised crime group who have been running a business of selling young girls for sex. We have also identified a number of customers who we have reason to believe have used this service.

"We believe the offending spans a six-year period. The warrants executed today are the second phase of this investigation and the arrests have been made to protect the girls from further harm. Our No 1 priority is to protect the victims, both their identities and wellbeing."

Oxford commander, Supt Chris Sharp, said: "I understand today's events will have an impact on residents.

"My neighbourhood policing teams will be carrying out reassurance patrols in the area, issuing information about the operation with contact details if people need further information, or would like to report any activity in relation to this investigation."