First arrest made in huge Rotherham abuse investigation

Rotherham Town Centre

Rotherham Town Centre

Officers involved in a multi-million pound investigation into the Rotherham abuse scandal have made their first arrest.

National Crime Agency officers arrested a man in Rotherham on Wednesday morning in connection with its Operation Stovewood investigation into child sexual exploitation in the town between 1997 and 2013.

The man was arrested on suspicion of rape, two offences of supplying class A and B substances and physical assault.

The alleged offences all involve one girl under the age of 16.

The NCA are releasing no further details about the arrested man, including his age.

The NCA were invited to investigate historic abuse cases in Rotherham by South Yorkshire Police after the force was heavily criticised in a report which revealed there had been at least 1,400 victims in the town between 1997 and 2013.

Operation Stovewood is now following up over 10,000 lines of enquiry, with 29 key suspects and ‘hundreds’ of others also under investigation.

There are now eight ‘specific major investigations’ under way as part of Operation Stovewood involving 82 victims and survivors, with the NCA stating more are likely to be established. Officers have examined more than 120,000 documents from police, council and health services.