Seven arrested at South Yorkshire hotels over suspected child sexual exploitation offences

South Yorkshire Police Headquarters on Carbrook Hall Road, Sheffield
South Yorkshire Police Headquarters on Carbrook Hall Road, Sheffield

Seven people have been arrested in connection with suspected child sexual exploitation offences occurring at hotels in South Yorkshire, police have revealed.

South Yorkshire Police launched a training programme for hotel staff to help them spot potential perpetrators and victims as part of its efforts to tackle grooming in the county.

The force said staff at 95 hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest-houses across South Yorkshire have now been trained.

A spokeswoman said: “To date, 41 incidents have been reported to police, investigated and led to seven arrests and several young people being removed from harm.”

The Jay report, which revealed in August that at least 1,400 children had been abused over 16 years in Rotherham, said training of hotel managers had resulted in one perpetrator being caught with two underage girls.

Details have been revealed after two reports from strategic drugs analyst Dr Angie Heal that warned the force about the extent of child sexual exploitation in Sheffield and Rotherham were made public this week.

Dr Heal told The Star nothing was done at a senior level about the information she provided.

A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Police said continuing efforts are being made to improve the way the force deals with investigations into the crime.

She said: “We have centralised the team of officers involved in ongoing investigations into non-recent allegations of sexual exploitation, some of these investigations are large scale and involve large numbers of potential victims and potential offenders.

“A number of arrests have been made in relation to these investigations and we continue to make frequent arrests of individuals we believe may be involved in child sexual exploitation when we find them in the company of a vulnerable young person and also as part of ongoing investigations.

“We have co-located multi agency teams in every district. These teams comprise specialist officers from public protection, social workers and representatives from Barnardo’s. The enables us to share information at the earliest opportunity and take action to prevent child sexual exploitation. An awareness raising campaign was launched in November to encourage people to come forward with information about young people vulnerable to sexual exploitation.”